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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55602
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My Mother passed away and now my father needs me to cosign

Customer Question

HI. My Mother passed away and now my father needs me to cosign on his refinance of the mortgage to lower the payments. I'm worried about my responsibility if he passes away also
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: sure, like what I do not live in the home and am not on the title
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

Can you provide me a bit more information? What is the value of the house? How much is the loan balance? Are you the beneficiary of your dad's estate or do you have other siblings that are also in line to inherit? Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. The house is worth about 300,000 and the loan balance would be about 150k. My Dad doesn't have a will but my sister and I would be 50/50.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what I'm concerned about is if he passes away, I would obviously be responsible for the mortgage but I'm not sure where my rights are in terms of the asset, the house?
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for following up. Your risk is likely minimal given the value of the house. Even though co-signing would mean you have personal liability for the note, because the value of the house is double what is owed, it's not likely you would ever be in a situation where the loan would be in default and the foreclosure of the house wouldn't pay the loan in full. BUT, having said that, you are taking on a risk and I would suggest that if you are indeed being asked to co-sign that you be put on the title....if you are going to have the risk of the downside, you should also be entitled to the upside should the house appreciate in value. If your sister has an issue with this, you can suggest she co-sign as well. :) Also, being put on title will protect you in the event your dad, no matter how unlikely it may seem, might decide to re-marry and leave the house to his new wife or if he has no will, she may be entitled to a share of it or have homestead rights.

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