Hickory, NC asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for North Carolina

Q: What happens to the house in NC when one of the owners dies?

Grandfather and girlfriend bought property together and they both lived in house as man and wife. The deed does not say tenants in common nor joint tenants in common. What will happen when one of them passes. Grandfather did a will giving the house to his children but the girlfriend did not sign the will.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: Unmarried co-owners are presumed to own as tenants in common in equal shares, unless the deed states otherwise. Accordingly, when your grandfather dies, and assuming the will is valid and is as you stated, his children will own 50% of the house along with the girlfriend as to the other 50%.

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