Long Beach, WA asked in Probate and Real Estate Law for Washington

Q: How can a widow own property not on deed but on loan . Pays taxes without probate? Do they own 50percent automatically?

The widow pays the loan and taxes no will or trust .

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Probate Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If a widow is not listed on the property deed but is paying the loan and property taxes, her ownership rights may not automatically be 50 percent. Ownership of real property is typically determined by the names listed on the property deed. Paying the loan and taxes alone does not necessarily grant ownership rights.

To establish legal ownership and avoid potential probate issues, it is advisable for the widow to take specific legal steps, such as transferring the property into her name through probate or seeking legal advice to explore other options like a spousal property petition or a small estate affidavit, depending on the state's laws. It's essential to consult with an attorney who specializes in real estate and probate matters to navigate the specific laws and requirements in your jurisdiction.

In many cases, property ownership and inheritance can be complex, and it's crucial to address these matters correctly to ensure the widow's rights and interests are protected. Consulting with an attorney will provide clarity on the best course of action based on the specific circumstances and local laws.

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