West Palm Beach, FL asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Georgia

Q: My dad passed in 2008 and the deed transferred to me. The actual loan on the house still has my dad's name.

I have paid on time and have sent in paperwork to "update" the name on the loan. The loan servicer tells me I cannot change the name on the loan from my dad to me unless I refinance the house. (I owe less than $20,000). Recently, my homeowners insurance agent told me he cannot renew my policy because its still in my dad's name. Both entities were alerted when my dad died and the house transferred to me.

What recourse do I have to get the name on the loan changed to obtain homeowners insurance?

1 Lawyer Answer
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
Robert W. Hughes Jr.
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Your problem is common. the house did not transfer into your name when your father died. If you and your father owned the property as joint tenants with right of survivorship, you became the owner when your father died. If you owned the house jointly with your father, but not with rights of survivorship, you only own the 1/2 you owned when your father was alive. You will need to probate your father's estate to transfer the remaining 1/2 to your father's heirs.

Regardless of ownership, the loan is in your father's name and that will not change until you refinance it. There is no requirement to refinance it so I ldt do it unless you know you can qualify and the terms of the refinance are better than the current terms.

The insurance company can only insure the house for the owner of the house. How the loan is titled is not related to acquiring insurance. If you are the owner, and your agent will not issue a policy, shop for a new agent.

Kenneth V Zichi agrees with this answer

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