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Home Lending News


By Julie Post

Co-Owners Who Are Married

A surviving spouse does not necessarily inherit the entire interest in the home when the other passes away. First, it is necessary to determine if the deceased spouse died “testate” (with a will) or “intestate” (without a will). If a spouse dies intestate, the property automatically vests 100 percent in the surviving spouse only if the property is community property and the deceased had no children, or if there are children, all of them are the result of the marriage between these two spouses (i.e., there are no children from a prior marriage).

Co-Owners Who Are Not Married

Texas law presumes that if two nonspouses are named as co-owners, then they are tenants-in-common – in other words, each person owns an undivided one-half interest in the property but there is no automatic right of survivorship. When one co-owner dies, the interest of the deceased co-owner goes directly to that person’s heir or heirs, either by will or intestate succession. The recipient may or may not be the other co-owner.



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