MY WIFE AND I ARE BOTH ON THE DEED TO THE HOUSE. MY WIFE IS IN CRITCIAL CONDTION. WHEN SHE DIES WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET HOUSE IN MY NAME. NO WILL

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MY WIFE AND I ARE BOTH ON THE DEED TO THE HOUSE. MY WIFE IS IN CRITCIAL CONDTION. WHEN SHE DIES WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO TO GET HOUSE IN MY NAME. NO WILL

Asked on June 23, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I'm very sorry to hear about your wife's illness. The house should be the least of your worries right now, most likely, because in most cases the deed to a married couple lists the two of you as joint tenants, or tenants with right of survivorship.  If so, the house becomes yours alone when your wife passes, by operation of law.

It's possible, if you bought your house at least 25 years ago, that the deed may list you and your wife as tenants "by entireties." This is a special form of joint tenancy with survivorship for married couples; it still exists in many states but was abolished in Ohio in 1985, with deeds already written that way "grandfathered." Again, if this is the way your deed is set up, the law makes the property yours at her death.

If you aren't sure, after looking at your deed, take a copy to a lawyer near you, who will be able to tell you in less than a minute if you have a joint tenancy with your wife or not.  If not, he or she will be able to tell you what will need to happen.  One place to find a qualified attorney is our website, http://attorneypages.com

 


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