Q: My dad got divorced, had no will, and passed away. His ex wife’s name is still on the house.
My dad and his ex wife got divorced before they could come to an agreement on the house. She hasn’t been in the house over 10 years. He passed away with no will in place. He has two biological children(me and my sister) and a daughter that he and his ex wife adopted. The ex wife doesn’t want to take her name off of the house even though she has been long gone. My dad tried to buy her out but she wouldn’t accept. She says we can stay in the house but I feel like she can come in and decide to take the house back at any moment. I’d like to fix the house up to live in or as family house for my sisters and me. We could eventually pass this down to our children but I will not do that with the ex wife’s name still on the house! Is there anything that can be done about this?
A: To evaluate this fact pattern, an attorney will need to look at your father and his ex wife's Deed. However, it sounds like she could own half or possibly even the entire property, and yes you are correct that she could evict you or petition a court for a sale of the house at any time (moratoriums due to the current pandemic permitting). You need to talk to an attorney and have him or her look at the Deed in order to find out exactly whether you have any rights to it at all.
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