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I live in Tennessee . Neither my husband or myself have a will and own several hundred acres and our home. We were checking in to this as he said we didn't need a will. Was told by a lawyer that joint property became sole property of the surviving spouse. Part of our property was his before we were married.When his aunt died and a battle ensued over her property ,between her husband of 20 years and her brothers , it made me go check out things for the protection of me and my children.After seeing how his uncles treated his aunts husband ,I felt we needed some changes even if it cost us a little money. Title search , surveying and drawing up new title on land cost us about $600. People may run into trouble when there is property that one had before the marriage and it has never had the other spouses name put on it. Many assume that when you marry it just automatically becomes the property of new spouse.In this case was told that two thirds of the property in question goes to any children ,be it one child or a dozen. The remaining third goes to the surviving spouse and any other person , relative or debt holder that wants to put a claim against it. Was told this doesn't only apply to real estate but other property such as cars ,boats ,antiques etc. Personal items like clothe,books ,bed you sleep in .. are exempt. Not an expert .This is just what we ere told and now all of our property has both our names on it. I would still recommend a will and we are working on that. * As noted in the previous response all jointly owned marital property passes to the surviving spouse under the state's Tenancy By The Entirety (TBE) laws. Property not acquired during the marriage is partitioned according to the probate succession laws in more or less the way cited in the previous response. Creditors have first claim against non exempt property and assets of the deceased before any property or assets can be distributed to heirs and/or family members. Go to your local court house and get the information you need. In Virginia, you still have to file for probate even if you have a trust or a will. Probate is just a simple review so that the "government" knows that all is on the up and up. In Tennessee, the law may be different, so check with the Clerk of Court they are very helpful and will fill you in with the details. You will probably just need to legally remove the deceased name from the property deed or loan. If the spouse is still living, see a lawyer and have a will or a trust done right away!

2006-08-08 19:44:53
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