Fredonia, NY asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for New York

Q: My NY State home of 14 yrs is in both mine and my father's name. What happens when he dies? Does the house become mine?

Also, what happens if he is sick for some time at the end of his life and ends up owing money because of that? Can they come after the house for unpaid bills? The house has no mortgage. I have lived in the house for 12 years and have paid all bills and property taxes and all is up to date. My father has never been a resident in the home, just me, my wife and children, although it was his money that paid off the vast majority of the mortgage early. My wife's name has never been on the house deed or any of the bills. In addition, can any of my family (I have several brothers) lay claim to or claim to be owed part of the house after my father's death, in the case of him splitting all of his possessions among us in his will, or in any other scenario?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Peter Klose
PREMIUM
Peter Klose
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Nyack, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Would be helpful to review the deed but if you owned it as joint tenants with rights of survivorship it automatically transfers to you

If you own it as tenants in common and your father has a will the answer may change. I would recommend an attorney look at the situation.

Barry E. Janay agrees with this answer

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: The issue of survivorship is governed by the deed. I would have to see it. It could be either way. If your dad is on the deed at death the answer to your question turns on what other assets there might be and whether the house is disposed by will. Sounds like some estate planning for your dad is in order.

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