Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Louisiana

what happens in the instance where there is only one spouse's name on a home loan and that person passes away? Will the living spouse be able to keep the home and continue making payments as usual?

Asked on 6/12/13, 7:28 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Karlin Riles Karlin Fitzmorris Riles Attorney at Law, LLC

Under Louisiana law, in most circumstances, regardless of whose name is on the loan, both spouses own the home as community property.

In Louisiana, property, income,and debts incurred during the marriage are owned in indivision by both spouses. This is called community property. After the termination of the marriage, by death or divorce, the community property regime ends. The surviving spouse has always owned one half of the property, and at the death of the other spouse becomes full owner of that one half. Depending on whether the deceased spouse had children, the surviving spouse either becomes full owner of the deceased spouse's half interest in the property (in the case of no children), or usufructary (in the case of children). A usufructary has the right to use the property, but the naked owners (the children) actually own it.

As you can see from this explanation, it is important that you hire an attorney or get in touch with legal services in your area. In order to have the house put in your name, you will need to open a succession, which will require the assistance of an attorney. The attorney you hire will determine your rights to your spouse's property, and request that a judgment of possession be granted, putting you into possession of the amount you are due.

Note: I am an attorney licensed to practice law in Louisiana. This advice is limited in scope. I am not your attorney, and am offering you advise only. If you wish to hire me or any other attorney, you will need to contact my office or another attorney's office directly. No one is considered a client until a fee agreement has been signed and representation letter has been issued from my office, on my letter. Once again, this advise is limited in scope and does not constitute legal representation by me or any other attorney.

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Answered on 6/19/13, 10:21 am

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