Thanks for your post. As the others have already noted, the answer to your question depends greatly on a number of factors (the laws of your state, how title was taken on the property, the will, trust and deposition of the property upon death...) all of which should be asked and answered by a qualified estate attorney in your state.
If you have troubles finding a good attorney in North Carolina, contact the Bar Association for the names of attorneys in your area that handle estate planning questions or you can also ask this question on a website called http://www.avvo.com. They usually have attorneys who can provide you with general information, and they also have a great referral service where you can find a great attorney in your area.
I will caution you to keep your private information private, and to make an appointment to find a great attorney to assist you.
Since this is a legal question talk with your trusted estate planner.
May your wife live a long, healthy and happy life, and you as well.
Have an amazing day.
Thus...regardless of "current" laws.....she and you might need to get a will to explicity define your wishes.
YOU NEED A LAWYER!
here is my understanding....go down the priority list....which is likely wrong. (especially 1&3), and even adjustable via circumstances.
(as an fyi: when my father died, I knew it was his intent to have his wife inherit everything, so, I never questioned anything. Discuss things with the kids...let them know what to expect.).
Note: Her bills get paid first....die-ing is usually rather expensive. They take grand and expensive measures to save someone's life. Insurance may pay the brunt of the larger expenses, but they bicker like crazy over the small expenses, which add up quick. (My mom's stroke, gererated a pile of bills which filled a paper shopping bag, $200,000. Insurance paid perhaps about $190,000.....).
(0) Did you kill her? Go to jail..go directly to jail...do not collect $200 dollars.
Can you be considered responsible in her death, even if you did not directly kill her....Then everything is up for debate, and you could get nothing.
(1) did she really buy it after you were married..then it's a marital asset in NC, and this might change everything (as long as you pay the mortgage and taxes). You can even change the deed into your name. The county clerk can help you.
(2) does she have a will? Then it goes to whom she says.....
(3) Does she have a survivor clause on the mortgage? then it was her intent to have it go in that direction.
(4) did she die with parents but no descendants..... surviving spouse inherits 1/2 of your intestate real estate and a portion of your intestate personal property,
(5) did she die with (one child or descendants of that child)....surviving spouse inherits 1/2 of your intestate real estate and a portion of your intestate personal property
(6) did she die with (two or more children, or descendants of those children)... surviving spouse inherits 1/3 of your intestate real estate and a portion of your intestate personal property.
Of course, if you live there...it's difficult for anyone to kick you out.
it all depend how set your vesting. if you have set community property with survivorship it might come into your scenario but run by with your attorney for legal advise.
spend for dollars for now will save your thousands later.
good luck luck
Mortgage Loan Manager
If you happen to be one of those who is plotting to get the house to yourself,...
You might want to consult a trust attorney.
If you dont do that you can consult with a probate attorney.
Just dont let her die in the meantime.
Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
Re/Max Town Square
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated
Your simple question is actually very complicated depending on the state you live in, the way your wife currently holds title to the property, if you have an estate plan in place and the terms of the plan or if you plan to go through probate, the value of the property at time of purchase and time of a spouse's death, year of the death and tax code in effect at the time of death and your marital status at the time the property was purchased. Any one of these factors could change the answer to your question.
The advice below was appropriate. If you are anticipating being the surviving spouse and even if you are not anticipating anything in the near future, you should consult an estate attorney and pull the pieces of your estate plan together so that both of you are protected in the event of an unexpected death.
If you need advice from a Santa Clara County, California, estate attorney, I have a reference that has served several of my clients well. If you are living in North Carolina, then you should consult an attorney there.
Barbara Stewart, Broker
Los Gatos CA
(408) 406-1343 Cell
The rights that you have in the property depend on the law in your state, where the property is located.
I see that you are from North Carolina. I recommend that you talk with a Real Estate Attorney who is licensed to practice law in the State of North Carolina.
If the property is located here in California, where your question is posted, I recommend that you consult an Attorney who is licensed to practice law in the State of California.
Charles Butterfield MBA
Real Estate Broker/REALTOR
Cell Phone: (408)509-6218
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org