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

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. 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. Answering your questions does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts in your case, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.


  2. 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 licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.


  3. 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 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 is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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