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Loren, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33074
Experience:  30 years of real estate practice experience.
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I owned a home with my partner of 35 years until she died recently.

Customer Question

I owned a home with my partner of 35 years until she died recently. I thought that the property was in Joint Tenancy, but as there is no 'and' on the title, I am told it is tenants in common, and the will will have to be probated. We could not avail ourselves of domestic partnership or marriage, as she was suffering from Alzheimer's disease in 2009 when Domestic Partnership became available in Wi. We lived as domestic partners and the intent of the real estate agreement was Joint tenancy. We have had, and there is still, a mortgage in place in both our names, and we own another piece of property in Wi, that is clearly in Joint. Is there a way I can avoid probate? I thought I read that having a shared mortgage constituted Joint Tenancy. Am I correct? thank you, ***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
Good afternoon. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to answering your question. My condolences for your loss.Did your partner leave a last will? Was her interest left to you in the will?Did she leave any heirs at law?
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
Are you online with me?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes to a will, and yes I inherited everything. I just don't want to do probate for the house. There were no other heirs but me.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the additional information. I am sorry to hear of your dilemma. I realize how frustrating this is for you and I hope to provide you information which is accurate and useful, even though it may not be the news you were hoping to get. Unfortunately, without the property being specified in joint tenancy, your late partner's interest is indeed a probate asset and there is not a really a way to avoid probate. Joint tenancy can only be established in the deed. It can not be established by having a joint mortgage loan, or any other type of financing.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
I realize this is probably not the answer you were hoping to receive. Also, please remember that this is not a moral judgement on my part. As a professional, however, I am sometimes placed in the position of having to deliver news which is not favorable to a customer's legal position, but accurately reflects their position under the law. I hate it, but it happens and I only ask that you not penalize me with a bad or poor rating for having to deliver less than favorable news.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
If you have no further questions, and have not yet done so, please remember to leave a favorable rating (Excellent or Good) so that I am credited by JustAnswer for assisting you. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.
If you have no further questions please remember to rate my service so that I am credited by JA for answering your question and also so that I may close the question. Thanks.

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