Depends on the deed. If Wife's name is on the deed, then if they were tenants by the entirety, then she gets the whole house. If only the husband's name is on the deed, then the. Wife's elective share would be the fiest $50,000 and half of the remainder. The other half is divided among the children. Bring the deed to a lawyer to review and advise you.
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It does matter if wife's name is on the deed. If so, it is likely that it is a joint ownership with right of survivorship, meaning wife will inherit the whole property, as it will pass to her automatically outside of the probate process, will or no will. If not on the deed, husband's estate without a will passes $50,000 +1/2 to wife, balance to children.
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Mr. Callahan offers sound advice. You should have an attorney review the deed and determine your rights under it. Many attorneys, including myself, offer a free consultation.
Roman Aminov, Esq.
Law Offices of Roman Aminov
Estate Planning - Elder Law - Probate - Real Estate
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This answer does not constitute legal advice and no attorney client relationship has been formed. Before choosing a course of action, it is always advisable to seek the advice of an attorney in your area.
I agree with my colleagues. I would simply add that, even if wife's name is not on the deed, it is likely that the property would pass to her, in the absence of a Will. She would be the only heir, unless there are children. No one else can legally attack this. In the absence of a Will, you are stuck with the State intestate law. An attorney can help you sort this all out.
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If the wife is on the deed she is now the sole owner by operation of law when the husband died. If not the property is an asset of the husband's estate. Since no will the wife should file a petition to be appointed the administrator of the estate. The husband's property will be divided as follows: the first 50k to the wife and then 50 % of the balance of the estate to wife and 50% to be shared amongst the children
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