From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: My husband died a resident of New Jersey and we owned a house together in Atlantic County which is in both of our names. He has two children from a prior marriage. Do his children get any ownership in the house?
The answer will depend on how you both owned the house together. You wrote that you owned your house “in both names,” which could mean you owned the house in any of three different ways.
Look at the deed and see if you can find the words “jointly with a right of survivorship” or “tenants in the entireties.” If you owned the house in either of these ways, then you had the right, by contract, to claim his half interest at his death and the children would have no claim. You may wish to file a new deed to make it clear that you have claimed this interest and that you now own the entire property.
If, instead, you see “tenants in common,” then you had no contract. Your husband then owned a half share that will pass under the terms of his will or if he had no will, the New Jersey rules of intestacy. If so, the children may get a portion of this land. To be sure I would need more information about the house’s value and his estate.
If you have any other questions about Probate in New Jersey, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.