Three Rivers, MI asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Michigan

Q: If my father died with no will and there are two total children, can I finance his mortgage debt and get the house?

My father recently died and had his previous wills canceled for religious reasons but never redid them. When I went to the bank to inform them that he was deceased, they noticed that I was the beneficiary of the accounts and said that I could finance his balance due for 44K or put a full estate together so the house could go to auction to pay for debts and whatnot.

The other sibling in this case was not listed as a beneficiary of the account, which is where I'm confused. Am I able to just finance and become the homeowner? We are on good terms and we're planning a self negotiated split of his belongings, but I'm unsure if from a legal aspect, the house is his given that he owes a mortgage on it. I guess I'm just wondering what the proper method for this would be.

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Zamzow
PREMIUM
Michael Zamzow
Answered
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Generally the assets of a decedent must be filed and managed through probate, and it would not likely be permissible to buy the house without probate. Without a will there are statutory rules regarding allocation. This is a situation where you should speak with an attorney to avoid unintentionally incurring liability.

Kenneth V Zichi agrees with this answer

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