Ask Terry Questions Changing title to house I inherited

Changing title to house I inherited

By Terry Savage on July 15, 2019 | Housing / Real Estate

My husband died last December, and left a will naming me as beneficiary. Our home (which is in his name) still has a mortgage balance. I have continued payment on it, but am unsure how to proceed. Please advise.

Terry Says

You need an attorney.   If there was a will, go back to the attorney that created it — although he/she should have suggested the house be put in joint name!  If you don’t have an attorney, go to, to find an attorney near you who specializes in wills and estates.

Meantime, here are few questions:  Was the house in BOTH of your names — or just in his name — and are you sure?  Did the will go through probate– the process of changing title to assets?  Do you have a death certificate, which is the first thing you will need — along with the will — to change title to your name?  An attorney will contact the bank that holds the mortgage.  Theoretically, the babj gas the right to foreclose to get their money back, since your name was not on the note.  So you are doing the right thing in keeping up the payments.

Here’s the most important question to ask yourself.  Do you really want to stay in this home?  Or do you want to sell it, pay off the balance of the mortgage, and move into an apartment, but a condo — or move into a senior’s residence situation.  Now is the time to make that decision.  If you want to sell, just keep paying the mortgage and list the property.  But since it is still in your late husband’s name, consult an attorney before taking any steps.  There will be no taxes on the sale of the house, because since you are the beneficiary the valuation will be as of the date of his death.  Again, ask an attorney how to proceed.

Then be sure you take the leftover money and PUT IT IN THE BANK!  If that’s all you have you don’t need any fancy investments — just FDIC insured bank CDs.  Please write back if you get stuck in this process.




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