My mom passed away and sheand my stepdad has a house loan through a bank but there was no will stating who the share goes to.

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My mom passed away and sheand my stepdad has a house loan through a bank but there was no will stating who the share goes to.

My mom recently passed away. she and my stepdad has a house loan through a Mortgage company that I also believe was done prior to Marriage. I was wondering if as her heir if I am entitled to her portion of the sale of the house. the house is owned in the state of Wisconsin. any info is greatly appreciated.

Asked on May 22, 2019 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It depends on how she and your stepfather owned the house and how it was acquired.
1) They were on the deed as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or JTROS: as the surviving "joint tenant" (owner), the stepfather becomes 100% owner of the home when your mother passed.
2) They owned the home as "tenants in common" but it was bought during marriage: it is "community property" as something acquired during marriage and the surviving spouse (stepfather) inherits it entirely and becomes sole owner.
3) They owned the home as "tenants in common" but the house was bought pre-marriage: in that case, your mother's share (1/2 or 50%) of the house was her separate property, which means you inherit half of her share (a 1/4 or 25% interest) and the stepfather gets the other half of her share to add to his share.
4) She was the only person on the deed and the home was bought pre-marriage: it is all her separate property, so you get half the house (a half interest in it) and your stepfather gets the other half.
5) He was the only person on the deed and the home was bought pre-marriage: it is all his separate property and remains 100% his property.
The deed, not mortgage determines ownership; the mortgage only determines who has to pay the loan.
Of course, if the house is worth less than the remaining mortgage balance, it doesn't really matter: there is no equity or value to it.


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