My mother gave me a house in 1978 and didn't put me on the deed. I had homeowners insurance all that time but now that my mom died, they say I can't insure the house. Why?
I don't quite understand your statement that the house was given to you without the Deed being put in your name.
There is no issue about paying the Homeowner's Insurance - the Insurance Company does not care who pays the premium - the Insurance Company only cares about receiving the premium.
Did your mother leave it to you in her Will? That could be a path you may want to pursue.
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John B. Whalen, Jr., J.D., LL.M.
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If your name isn't on the deed it's not your house.
There are many reasons why the house may no longer be yours (but as I said earlier, if your name wasn't on it to begin with it was never yours) because of how the house was titled: such as joint tenants, tenants by the entireties, life estate, etc...
The best answer I could give you would be to consult with an estate attorney because if only your mother's name was on the deed and she died, then the house may be in her estate. Also, if another person's name was on the deed then that person may have title to the house. If she had a will it will likely pass by will, if she did not have a will, then the Pennsylvania laws of intestacy will apply. As you can see, there are a lot of "if...." scenarios, so it would be best to consult with an attorney.
I hope this helps.
Licensed in MD, PA and DC. This is not legal advice. I am not your attorney. You should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction regarding your specific circumstances.
I agree with the prior attorneys that the first step is confirming who owns the house now (or who should) and perhaps dealing with the probate process for your mother. This will answer many of your questions.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/
I appreciate the frustration in not being able to get homeowner's insurance on your property after your Mother died because title to the real estate is in Mom's name or in joint names with your deceased Father. You are not alone – this is a very common problem that is triggered on death of the owner in record title. I'm assuming, and you can correct it if my instinct is not on target, that you inherited the property when Mom recently died and that she died without a Will. If so, this problem is easily solved.
You or you and any siblings are vested with title to the property at Mom's death if Mom died without a Will, subject to a few exceptions that are not relevant here, under the Probate Code. You do have an insurable interest and you need to find an insurance agent who understands this and who will accept another means of proof of your interest. Typically a real estate attorney does need to get involved to sort it out if you can't make headway yourself.
You can also open up and probate Mom's Estate, which you will need to do in any event and obtain insurance in the Estate's name until you can transfer title to you or you and your siblings. You cannot transfer or sell the real estate with good title if you do not open an Estate.
If Mom has a Will my advice would be different in terms of who has the ownership interest. The Will controls if she dealt with the property in the Will either by specific devise or in a residuary clause. Even with a Will though, the property can be insured through the Estate. If you need to insure through the Estate be careful, the rates vary from being reasonable to paying for monthly premiums equal to what you would pay for an annual policy.
If you need further clarification, post another comment. I am assuming a few of the facts, hopefully with an educated guess because I've been through this many times with my clients.
If you are concerned I recommend that you consult with a Pennsylvania real estate attorney. This post is for general information purposes only and is not legal advice and there is no attorney-client relationship.
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