homeowner should die intestate. In plain English: Every homeowner needs a will.
By now, everyone knows life is fragile. Nobody has forever and
a day to put an estate plan down in writing.
And if you do leave things hanging, and you do pass away without
a will, or without some combination of a will and other instruments to convey
property, you’ll leave assets to be distributed under the state’s intestacy
laws. States try to send everything to your closest relatives, and if you’re single
without children, the state will contact siblings and so on, and pass your
property to them. That might be OK with you. But if you’re like most homeowners,
you’d prefer to decide for yourself.
If you’re a parent, it’ll be hard for your family to agree
on what to do without your written guidance. You also need a will to bequeath
assets to non-family members or nonprofits. You need a will, too, to explain
why you are not giving your home to a close family member if you choose not to.
Otherwise, you might be setting up a will contest after you pass.
When a person’s wishes are logically thought out and
expressed through a will, though, messy scenarios are far less likely to unfold.
When a person passes away, the death certificate and last
will are submitted to the county probate court. A person representative begins
the process of passing assets along as the will directs — except when other
valid legal instruments have priority. One of those instruments is the
all-important real estate deed.
Houses can be left to their owners’ chosen
beneficiaries through wills. But when someone who co-owns a house passes away, questions
may arise as to what the last will says versus what the deed says. In case of a
conflict, does the last will get the last word? Short answer: probably not. The
long answer starts with the
way the title is vested.
Survivorship Rights Vs. Tenancies in Common
When an owner dies, a properly signed and recorded deed directs
and channels the person’s property interest to its next owner, typically according
to the following rules.
wants to get ready to sell the house, and pay off some debt.
rub. The will never went through probate, and a different relative of John’s
has been living in the home all this time.
Who gets the
named as the next owner in the will, and never refused the
deed. So, legally, A.W. owns it, right? Wrong. Procrastination is
the thief of assets, as A.W. learned the hard way. A will does not enact
itself. It has to be probated according to a timeline.