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Ask Thomas Swartz Your Own Question
Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3171
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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I married my husband 12 years ago, I am his second wife his

Customer Question

I married my husband 12 years ago, I am his second wife his children were raised in this home although they are now 30 plus adults. My name is XXXXX XXXXX and loan, If something were to happen to my husband ie death do His children have any rights to this property
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 4 years ago.

It depends how your name is on the deed. Typically when a husband and wife are on a deed together, they own the house as "joint tenants" (with rights of survivorship) or as "tenants by the entirety." In either of these cases, there exists a right of survivorship for the surviving spouse. This means that the surviving spouse gets the whole interest in the house when the other spouse dies. No heirs or children can get any interest in the house.

On the other hand their is another form of ownership called "tenants in common." When there is this type of ownership, the heirs of the deceased person will get the deceased person's interest in the house and not (necessarily) the surviving spouse.

So, you need to check your deed and see if you are named as a "joint tenant" or "tenant by entirety." This is most likely the case since you are married, and if so, you will get the whole house. If you are listed as a "tenant in common" then the children can get his interest in the house. If you have any doubts, after reading your deed, I would simply take it to a local real estate attorney, and he/she would be able to give you a quick evaluation.

I hope this helps.