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Do my husband’s children inherit my husband’s half of the house?

Posted on Wed Jul 15, 2015, on Probate and Estate Administration

From our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: New Jersey Property Ownership After Spouse’s Death

Most Recently Updated July 15, 2018.

“My husband died a resident of New Jersey, and we owned a house together in Atlantic County. The house is in both of our names. He has two children from a prior marriage. Do his children get any ownership in the house?”

How to Keep the family home in the family

New Jersey Property Ownership After Spouse’s Death

New Jersey Property Ownership After Spouse’s Death

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.

Joint Tenants With Rights of Survivorship & Tenants By the Entireties

Look at the deed and see if you can find the words “joint tenants 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.

Tenants in Common

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.

More Probate Questions?

New Jersey property ownership after spouse’s death is only part of the overall probate process. By all means, if you wish to learn more, please read my more detailed article, The Probate Process All You Need to Know.

In Conclusion: New Jersey Property Ownership After Spouse’s Death

I hope that this article was helpful in explaining house ownership after death. Further, I included links to even more detailed information on my website. Therefore, please contact me and let me know how I did. Certainly, your comments and questions are welcome!

Let our Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our experienced Probate Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. In fact, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

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