Q: I am married to a widower and his late wife’s name is still on the house, as well as on a timeshare he owns. What are the steps in adding my name and deleting hers?
A: It may not matter that her name is on the properties. If your husband owned the properties jointly with his late wife, he should now be the sole owner of the properties even if her name is still on them. When she died, her share went to him or into her estate, which was presumably distributed to her husband and other heirs.
You can add your name to these properties using a quit claim deed. Your husband would have to agree to do this, and since this is a property that he owned prior to your marriage, he may not want to do that. He may be thinking that this pre-marital property will be held separately and will pass down directly to his heirs.
Have you and he had a discussion about your assets and created an estate plan? If he wants to pass down the house to his kids, he has various options that he can use to allow you to stay in the home if he should predecease you. You and he can sit down with an estate planner to decide what option would suit you best. In some cases a living trust is sufficient and in others you can create a life estate.
These along with other options should be discussed with an estate planner or estate attorney.
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