If house deed is under only one spouses name and that spouse dies does remaining spouse become legal owner

Asked over 2 years ago - La Jara, CO

my husband and i have married for three years and he owned his home before we were married and he says that if he dies the home will be mine

Attorney answers (3)

  1. David M. Rich


    Contributor Level 15


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . First, I am sorry for your loss. As to your question, current ownership of the house depends on how the house was titled. If the house was only titled in his name (or in both your names as tenants in common), then the house (or his share if tenants in common) would pass through his estate (via his will or intestacy, if there is no will). If the house was titled to both of you as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, then his interest is extinguished upon death and you own the house outright. You can go on the county assessor's web site and look up the property and see how it was titled (at least to the extent of whether it was just in his name or both of your names). You also can go to the county clerk's office and request a copy of the deed. This would be the starting point. Hope this helps.

    You can reach Dave Rich at (303) 886-2516 or dave@flatironlegal.com. Dave Rich is an attorney licensed in Colorado.... more
  2. Stephen Clark Harkess

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If there is no will, then you will inherit the home when your husband dies if you are still married. If he writes a will, he may be able to transfer the home (or part of it) to someone else. As the wife, you cannot be completely cut out of the will, but a will can change the assumption that you will inherit his entire estate.

    You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or info@Harkess-Salter.com. Stephen Harkess is an attorney... more
  3. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Talk is cheap as the saying goes. Get him to put it in writing by either drafting a new deed and putting it in joint names with rights of survivorship or have him draft a will. The former is a more secure solution for you and is easy to have done by a qualified real estate attorney.
    You need to look at how many questions are posed at this site where a mere statement is all the surviving spouse has and how worthless that statement really is from a legal perspective.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia... more

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