My husband died and had no will. What do I do?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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My husband died and had no will. What do I do?

My husband died going on 3 years ago and he had no will. What do I do? He had
nothing to leave except that we are both on our mortgage, in any case I assume I
should do something about probate, whatever that is, but have no idea where to
start and am embarrassed to ask anyone I know.

Asked on February 21, 2018 under Estate Planning, Oregon


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Do not be embarrassed.  It is not unusual to do nothing in these cases if the statuts remains the same.  When you say that you were both on the mortgage are you also both on the deed?  If that is the case then the property passed to you automatically at the time of his death and you can continue to keep paying the mortgage until it is paid off without changing a thing.  If, however, you are not on the deed and there are also surviving children or parents, then the intestacy laws in your state apply to the distribution of his estate.  You would file a Petition in Probate court in the county in which he resided at the time of his death.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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