Q: My husband inherited half his mother's home with his brother and right now brothers inlaws are paying to live there..
However my husband doesn't have a will. They are joint tenants in common on the deed. I worry if he dies before getting a will my brother in law will take the house. My husband wants me or our kids to have his half in case he dies, but he is slow at getting legal stuff done. I worry he might die before taking care of the matter..he's approaching 70 and not a healthy type. Could I claim his half anyway in such a situation?
In general, if your husband were to pass away without a will, his share of the property would typically pass to his heirs according to state laws of intestacy. This could mean that his share of the property would pass to you and any other children he has, depending on the laws of the state where the property is located.
However, the exact rules for intestacy can vary depending on the state, so it's important to consult with a local attorney to understand the specific laws that would apply in your husband's situation.
That said, it's generally advisable to have a will in place to ensure that your husband's wishes are carried out and to make the process of transferring his assets easier for his heirs. If your husband is having difficulty getting legal matters in order, it may be helpful to assist him or to seek out the assistance of an attorney who can help him create a will and ensure that his wishes are carried out.
A: You state they are "joint tenants in common". There is no such thing. They are either "joint tenants" or "tenants in common". If they are "Joint tenants", then which ever outlives the other will get the entire property. Having a will would not change this result. If they are "tenants in common", then the heirs of whoever dies will get the property. These are the general principles involved; if there are complications such as community property money being used in connection with the property, there could be variances. It is very easy to change property held as "joint tenants" into "tenants in common"; simply recording a deed with the change can do it. If you can't convince your husband to consult with an estate planning lawyer, maybe you can convince him to record a deed which will save his ability to pass on the property to his heirs.
Ms. Nahal Nikki Hashemi agrees with this answer
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