Isanti, MN asked in Probate for Minnesota

Q: I am a woman who purchased a house with a man. The deed was written as tenants in common. After we purchased the house

we married. Then he died. Now I'm being told I have to go to probate to remove his name from the deed. Don't I inherit his share since we were married?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Joshua Damberg
Joshua Damberg
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: The issue with your question is the title/ownership of the property in question.

You state that you owned the property as Tenants in Common with your deceased husband. Tenants in Common own a divided interest or separate interests in property. In the above scenario, you would own 50% and your deceased husband's estate would now be responsible for distributing the 50% that he owned during his lifetime. This would likely be controlled by his Will or, if he had no Will, Minnesota's default laws called Intestacy. A Probate may be required to transition the ownership whether or not he had a Will.

The other form of property ownership legally recognized in Minnesota is Joint Tenancy. Joint Tenants own an undivided interest in the entirety of the property. Most often, property owned in Joint Tenancy transitions outside of Probate because the last living Joint Owner holds 100% of the property via Rights of Survivorship.

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