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Attorney & Mediator
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In Virginia, what are my rights as a widow if my husband ...

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In Virginia, what are my rights as a widow if my husband died in October of this year and previous to our marriage his daughter''s name was put on the deed to the house? The home that I was brought to after we married = can I live in the house until my death? What if my husband made a mortgage on the house after we were married? Do I pay the whole mortgage payment? His Will states I am to get "half" of all...If I am by rights to live in the house until I die, should I have to pay just half of the mortgage payments; half of the house tax; & and half of the insurance on the house...My name is XXXXX XXXXX the house deed...His daughter would not sign a request for my name to be added to the deed before my husband''s death...she approved her Father''s action to make the mortgage loan but the loan was in his name only...again, what are my rights as widow in the state of Virginia?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 9 years ago.
1) Was the deed to the house with the daughter and father only?

2) Do you know if the deed stated anything about joint suvivorship?

3) So the father's name is XXXXX XXXXX the mortgage is that correct?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
1...Father added daughter to his deed previous to 2005 not know at this time

3...The Father's name only is on mortgage loan
Expert:  Attorney & Mediator replied 9 years ago.
Thank you for your responseCustomer

1) The only way you will have any right to the property would be to determine how the deed was worded. If the deed gave the daughter ownership by rights of survivorship, this means that the daughter takes ownership of the entire property and you acquire no ownership rights, regardless of what the deed says. In a right of survivorship the surviving owner automatically takes possession of the entire property and the other owner's rights are terminated upon their death. This is why it is very important to see how the deed is designated.

2) If the property did not title the deed with right of survivorship, then your spouse's interest remains in the property and the will controls what interest you have in the property. If the will states that you are to get "half of all", then that may mean that you share ownership of the house with his daughter as co-tenants. As co-tenants both of you can live on the property and both of you can be responsible for the mortgage (typically half payments) and can force the other to pay their share of the mortgage.

3) Since the father was the only person on the mortgage, the mortgage will have to be refinanced to name the new owners on the property. This can either be done by refinance or assuming the existing loan.

4) Again the only way to determine what interest you may have to the property will depend on how the deed is titled. If there a provision of right of survivorship, then daughter takes all and you do not take the home. If the deed does not state right of survivorship, then daughter and you will share co-ownership interests of the home and you can live on the property and pay the mortgage as stated above.

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