Portland, OR asked in Family Law and Probate for Oregon

Q: can spouse gift jointly owned property that is still in both owners names on deed? the deceased died intestate w/child

father was estranged from mom and child for twenty years forces himself back in the home still married and mom dies a suspicious death. Immediately takes assets and doesnt report her assets in her name only that were substantial at her death. remarries withoutn probating intestate estate who inherits

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1 Lawyer Answer
Greg Freeze
Greg Freeze
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Port Townsend, WA
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: Your question could use a little more clarity, but I will try to fill in the gaps.

If estranged father jointly owned the house with mother (with a right-of-survivorship) then the house can be the father's upon filing a certificate of death in the county where the property resides. That basically means the house is entirely the fathers.

If mother had no will, there could be a probate for the intestate estate. The probate assets would not include the house because it is a nonprobate asset. If there were assets at banks and the like, those assets might also not be probate assets if the bank had beneficiaries on the account.

For probate assets, there are rules of intestacy where children, not a product of the marriage, get a share of the estate when there was no will.

The point about a suspicious death is outside the scope of a probate question. If you have concerns, these should be reported.

You can call a title company to see who "owns" the property.

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