If my husband died but the house was in his name only, what legal rights do I have to the property?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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If my husband died but the house was in his name only, what legal rights do I have to the property?

I have lived in this home for 4 years. My husband died 2 years ago without a will.

His name only was on the deed and mortgage. Since there are no other dependents, do I automatically own the home? If so, how do I have it put in my name? What about the rest of his estate?

Asked on October 5, 2018 under Estate Planning, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If he had no children (even adult children), you will inherit the home; if he had children (whether with you or with someone else), you and they will split it when there is no will, under the rules for "intestate succession" (who gets what when there is no will) in your state--you will get a 1/2 interest in the home, the children will share the other 1/2 interest.
But to get the house into your name (or into your and the children's names), the home will have to go through probate and have a court order changes in ownership. Speak to a probate attorney about doing this.

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