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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102506
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I live in Minnesota. My father bought a townhome some 35

Customer Question

Hello, I live in Minnesota. My father bought a townhome some 35 years ago (after my mother died). He remarried and had lived there with his wife for 29+ years until his death.
They had refinanced a few times through out the time they lived there. Once he died, she refinanced the house removing his name from the deed. (he died 1 year ago). Now she is selling the house.
I know a few years before he died they rewrote their wills- us 4 children never saw the will once he died. (I know he had no savings or anything of value, so we never questioned it.)
Now that she is selling the home, we are wondering if it legally should be split between her and us 4 children?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am very sorry to hear about this situation. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times.

1) Unlike spouse to spouse, children do not have an automatic right to inherit the property from their parents. For example, most states including Minnesota have laws that allow a surviving spouse to inherit at least a little from their spouse so as not to be completely left out of the estate. See HERE for Minnesota. Unfortunately, the same is not true for children.

2) Ergo, the children do not inherit unless: very specific circumstances arise: the two held the property as tenants in common in which case, his part is not automatically taken by her and (1) there was no WILL in which case the children inherit part (see HERE under "Who Gets What"), or, (2) there was a WILL and it stated that the children inherit his part.

3) If they held the property as joint tenants, then she inherits his part even if he gives it to someone else in the Will.

4) If not sure whether or not they held it as joint tenants or tenants in common, you can check the deed records.

5) Finally, there is not a right to see the Will. You can file in Court for probate (to open, or reopen) to demand to see a cop of his will, if you were not notified of it and/or probate was never filed. If it was filed, then the Will shall be part of open court record.

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Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!