How to protect real estate after the death of a spouse?

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How to protect real estate after the death of a spouse?

My and my husband got married in 2008. In 2010 I bought a house from my money which I had before the marriage. On the mortgage papers only my name is showing. What happens if any of us dies? Whose house will it be? If my husband dies first I would like to be the 100% owner of the house. My husband has 3 daughters from his first marriage; they cannot claim the house after my husband death?What should I do to make sure, this house is mine, even we bought it after the marriage? Should we do a deed with survivorship?

Asked on April 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It is very wise of you to plan ahead here.  From the way you have phrased the question it sounds as if you bought the home with money that would be considered separate property.  And although you state that you alone hold the mortgage, you do not state how the deed lists the two of you or you at all.  That could matter here in a big way.  Generally speaking, though, with the facts you have stated here the house would be considered yours unless you showed an intention to have it be marital property by say adding his name to the deed.  Now,without knowing about the deed, you can indeed to a post nuptial agreement which would state that the house is yours and your alone and that your husband has no right to it once you are gone.  If he is contributing to the mortgage and maintenance etc., then he may not be keep on that. You need to consult with an attorney on this matter as soon as you can.  Good luck to you.  


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