North Carolina  |  Wills and Trusts

Legal Question

Asked on: 8/22/11, 5:53 am

If your spouse and her sister both legally own their parents home and the spouse dies does her portion go to her spouse or would it be better to have it added to the spouse's will?

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Answered on: 8/22/11, 5:57 am by Jeff Rosner

In most situations, it would go to spouse's heirs - so there are a lot of different factors involved. Depends on a number of different things so it is best to consult with an attorney.


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Rosner Law Firm P.A. 1301 Larkhall Court Cary, NC 27511

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Answered on: 8/22/11, 6:08 am by Cheryl David

If your spouse has already left you all of the property in his will at death then the interest in the house will go to you without changing the will. However, sometimes interests in land are held with survivorship rights. What this means is that the survivor of the two joint owners would receive the home. So if your husband died, by law his sister would receive it. I would suggest that you and your husband visit an attorney and have your wills and this situation reviewed.


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Law Offices of Cheryl David 528 College Road Greensboro, NC 27410

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Answered on: 8/22/11, 4:40 pm by Rachel Hunter

It depends on how the deed is written. If your spouse and her sister owned the land with a right of survivorship, then on the death of the spouse, then her share would automatically pass to the spouse's sister. If the sisters owned the land as tenants in common, then the spouse's share of the home would be distributed as per her will (if she has one) or via state intestacy law.

Any attorney would need to see the deed to the home as well as any current wills or trusts. However, using just a deed is not a substitute for estate planning. Your spouse should consult an estate planning attorney and should make a thorough estate plan that provides for the orderly transfer of all of her assets.


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