My mother and I own real estate JTWROS with only my mother on the mortgage. When she passes, will I be responsible for the balance? - AgingCare.com

My mother and I own real estate JTWROS with only my mother on the mortgage. When she passes, will I be responsible for the balance?

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My mother and I own real estate JTWROS (Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship) with only my mother on the mortgage.

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When a person dies, by & large their debts die with them. But if the debt is a secured debt (which a mortgage is), they do not. If the property still has debt on it (like a mortgage), it is not actually "owned". When the mortgage holder dies, the mortgage usually will be a claim or lien on the estate in probate court as it is a secured debt. When she dies and you go to probate, the mortgage will be entered as such. In order for the property to be transferred or release to the person named in JTWROS, the mortgage will likely will have to be paid off in full so you get a deed release to enter in probate to do the transfer.

You really need to look at the mortgage document to see how they deal with this. Paying it off in full (by you or anyone else who is interested in it) will probably be the better $$ situation, even if it makes her estate indebted to you for doing this. Talk with the probate attorney to see what works best in your state. If you weren't on the mortgage documents and need to have the mortgage transferred to you, the mortgage companies will now usually require that you qualify and the requirements are probably going to be a lot more stringent than how your mom qualified when she did the mortgage. It's usually not a simple, just transfer to another name.

If I were you, I'd find the paperwork and read through carefully to see what needs to be done upon death. You may be lucky and her mortgage has a separate life insurance policy that pays off the mortgage balance 100% upon the mortgage holder's death. Some old mortgages routinely have this included. Good luck.
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Yes ma'am you are responsible. I NEVER recommend being joint owners with a parent only because I'm going thru a nightmare re:joint property and it was a gigantic mistake. Mom's been gone 2 yrs and my sister and are involved in an entanglement. Our relationship is totally gone. Emotionally, I will never get over this!!! I hope your situation is better than mine.
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First of all, I am not a real estate attorney, but if the mortgage isn't paid, then the bank is going to foreclose on the house. So someone is responsible.

If you are on title, then the responsibility will inevitably fall to you.

You will either have to sell, pay the mortgage or deal with the foreclosure proceedings.
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