Sacramento, CA asked in Estate Planning for California

Q: Do I own my dad's share of his home after he passed with a transfer on death deed or does it go to his widow?

I have a transfer on death dead for my dad and a separate one for my stepmom. They are joint owners of a home and I am the sole beneficiary for both. My dad passed away. Do I now own his 50% share of the home or is his share now owned by his widow?

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3 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN
  • Licensed in California

A: It is not possible to answer your question without seeing exactly how title was held by your dad and stepmom. If they truly held title jointly with right of survivorship, then your stepmom now owns the home. If the TOD to you remains in place until she dies, then you will own it when she dies.

Howard E. Kane agrees with this answer

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Oakland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The technical requirements for a transfer on death (TOD) deed are simple but very strict, and errors can void the TOD deed. Unfortunately, a TOD deed cannot be used to transfer property held in joint tenancy or as community property with the right of survivorship.

Julie King
Julie King
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The answer depends on how the house was titled between your father and step-mother. If they held title as joint tenants or community property with the right of survivorship, then your step-mother may hold 100% ownership of hte home, but there is no way for a lawyer to tell without reading the language in the deed. If your father and step-mother held title in some other manner, then it is possible you own half. Take the deed to a lawyer in your area and you can have your question answered. Sorry about that!

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