Q: No will. My mother is deceased. She has been remarried for 9 years. She had a home in Michigan for 22 years
The home is in her name. Her domicile is in Texas. There will not be probate in Texas, no property. She also has 4 adult children. Who will receive the home according to probate in Michigan. Trying to sell currently over 100,000. Can her spouse sign a quit claim deed to a certain person?
A: According to Michigan’s rules of intestate succession (when someone dies without a will), as of 2021, the surviving spouse inherits the first $243,000 plus 3/4th of the value of the remaining assets. In short, assuming the market value of the house is $243,000 or less, the house solely belongs to him. Once transferred to him, he is free to sell, transfer, or otherwise convey as he chooses. In this scenario, her children would not inherit the house from the estate.
Ms Archie is correct, and it is important to emphasize that this will likely require probate in BOTH Texas and Michigan ancillary proceedings and all of this could have been avoided by some simple estate planning with a qualified licensed attorney in either Texas where she lived or Michigan where the property is located.
At this point, the cooperation of the surviving spouse will be the only 'fix' and he needs to be careful because there may be gift tax consequences if things are not done properly.
This is not to 'scold' anyone but to warn others that ignoring professional planning can be VERY expensive and spending a bit now can avoid a lot of problems in the future, and insure your wishes actually are followed rather than leaving things to chance.
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