Auburn, MA asked in Estate Planning for Massachusetts

Q: My question pertains to my deceased husband who died without a will but has 2 children of his own (not mine).

He died in June 2013, leaving a large mortgage behind and there was no equity in house at that time either. My name is not on the mortgage but i have continued making all the mortgage payments all this while. I was advised by a lawyer quickly back when he died that I had no estate to split because we only had bills and no assets so I really didnt persue anything more. Recently found out that my property line goes thru the neighbors yard (they were related) and i was just going to give them the land and sign off. Apparently they had to get signatures of the 2 kids also and this has opened a large can of worms. Now they seem to think there is money at stake here. Because one of the kids is a minor, a guardian Ad Litem has been appointed. The mother of this child (who was never married to my husband) is now saying she has stake in the land, plus property that is in this house, etc,, etc,, the list goes on. Help! I dont know how to handle this.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Salem, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: In whose name is the property. As his wife you can assume the mortgage so long as you live in the property. Under MA law, the first $200,000 of equity in the estate passes to you and the balance of the estate is split the remainder of the estate.

If you are not the guardian for the children, it might be easier to open a small estate and formally transfer title to the home to you.

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