whoa....I looked at this more...and was shocked...at the complexity in NC.
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.