How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33796
Experience:  15 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
19958803
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My husband of 17 years passed away last year (2/2015) at the

Customer Question

My husband of 17 years passed away last year (2/2015) at the age of 51. I am now thinking about selling my home (moving to a smaller home). We purchased our home in 1998 4 months BEFORE we got married. The title was never changed and reads in Public Records as a single man and a single woman. We have owned the home since we were married in Nov. 1998 but we never changed the title to husband and wife (even after two refinances it was never brought to our attention). I am now told that since my husband did not leave a will that in order to sell the home I would need to go through probate because of the way the deed currently reads. He has an adult daughter who lives in Texas and I now question whether she will be entitled to half the equity since there was no will. Please advise as I would need the equity to payoff the current lien and purchase another home so I need to be prepared finically should I sell my home. I can be reached via cell phone(###) ###-####or vial e-mail at***@******.***.
Sincerely,
Sonia
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 9 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

.

He has an adult daughter who lives in Texas and I now question whether she will be entitled to half the equity since there was no will.

.

Unfortunately, if you purchased the home prior to marriage and weren't listed as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" on the deed, then you would be "tenants in common" meaning that you each own 50% of the house and that 50% passes down through your estate to your heirs.

.

If husband passed without a will, then TX intestate laws control what happens to his 50% and the estate will have to be probated. If he has a daughter from a prior relationship, then under TX law, the surviving spouse inherits 1/3 of the personal property and the right to use any real estate for life. The children inherit everything else, including the 50% interest in the house.

.

So here, the daughter inherits his 50%, but you have the right to use it for your lifetime.

.

With that said, you can probably negotiate a deal with daughter to sell your life estate for some larger share of the sale proceeds since she can't sell it without your agreement.

.

.

thanks

Barrister

Related Legal Questions