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How Do I Transfer Deceased Mother's Home Into My Name?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton answers the following question: "How Do I Transfer Deceased Mother's Home Into My Name?"

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Hello, I'm Attorney Thomas Burton and welcome back to our popular Question and Answer Series. Today's question comes from Spooner, Wisconsin and the viewer asks the following, "How do I transfer recently deceased mother's home into my name? The will only states to split proceeds if sold although nothing about retaining. I have lived in the home with her for about 10 years and would like to put in my name, potentially adding a sibling as well."

So excellent question. First of all, I'm sorry to hear about the recent passing of your mother. The will should state what happens to the house even if it is not sold. So I would examine the document carefully and the paragraph you referenced about the house, to see what it says shall happen if the house is not sold. You're saying it says to split the proceeds if sold but generally, then the next paragraph or sentence should say what would happen to what we call the residue of the estate and a lot of times, that is an equal distribution amongst the residuary heirs and would anticipate a sale as well.

So it's possible the will says it must be sold. If it's mandatory then you have to sell the house and the proceeds for example, split among the heirs and if it says it must be sold then in order for you to get the home, you would need to purchase it from the estate. So whoever's in charge of the estate, the personal representative named in the will, they could sell the home to you just like they would sell it to a third party. You would pay the money to the estate, the amount, the purchase price agreed upon and then the estate would take that cash and later distribute it among the heirs according to the will.

So that's always generally an option with real estate. If someone wants to purchase it from the estate, they can unless of course the will would specifically prohibit a certain heir from purchasing it.

If there are other assets in the estate, sometimes what can be done is agree to the purchase of the home and then instead of taking $200,000 of cash, you take title to the home and that cash that would have gone to you, gets split among the other heirs. So you can equalize the shares, if it says in equal distribution but instead of cash, you're taking real estate. I would work with the personal representative and the probate attorney to figure this out to make sure, you're doing it properly because if you purchase it from the heirs or were able to receive it as part of the estate, you would want to make sure it's retitled into your individual name at the end of the process, so that you walk out before the estate is closed with title to the home in your individual name.

Regardless of how you handle it, if the home was held in your mother's name before death and you're going through the probate court process, you'll need to complete the probate process before the home can be sold or transferred into your individual name. So this would happen likely at the end when all the assets of the estate are distributed.

So I would recommend you work with a good probate attorney in your area to discuss your goals and wishes here and you mentioned the other siblings, so depending how many heirs are involved, you would need to come up with a plan that meets the requirements of the will and that's going to work well with your sibling, the one you added, you said adding them to the title of the home.

So there's a few factors here, how many children, who's the personal representative and I would discuss that with your attorney and then the best way to go about this if you want to retain the family home.

So I know family homes up north, especially in Spooner, can be important part of a legacy. Sometimes it's a family cabin or you plan to keep it as a cabin and I wish you the best of luck with this probate court and estate process.

So great question, thank you for asking, thank you for watching and if this video has been helpful to you, please consider giving it a LIKE, so that others can see and benefit from this information as well.

Thanks for watching and we'll see you next time.

© 2022 Burton Law LLC. All Rights Reserved. Transcript and captions provided for ease of access for the hearing impaired. For questions about this topic, or to suggest a topic for a future blog post, please contact the office.


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