Knoxville, TN asked in Probate for Tennessee

Q: Husband passed in Nov. 2021, all contracts were in his name only (except Deed/Trust on house).Am unsure how to get my

home into my name to sell. Only creditor is mortgage co., I am surviving spouse, no children living. What do I do NOW? If mortgage files a claim, does that mean I have to pay it off before I can sell?? Confused senior lady appreciates answers. Is in Probate, I am administratix of estate (such as it is).

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: There are too many facts missing to answer your questions. There are no one-size-fits all answers. But you might find some general rules helpful.

First, as a general rule, real estate is not a probate asset in Tennessee, but there there are some pretty huge exceptions, so you should consult with an attorney to see if any of those exceptions apply in your case.

Another general rule is lenders are not allowed to call home mortgage loans due when the borrower dies, but if you stop making the payments then they can foreclose. So you do not have to pay off the mortgage "before" you sell, but of course when it sells it will need to be paid using the sale proceeds. However, you will not be able to sell until something is done to update the title. What that is depends on how title is held and whether it needs to be part of the probate case.

Your questions are best directed to the attorney who is helping you with the probate. If you do not have an attorney helping you, now would be a good time to find one.

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