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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011

    Default Estate is Responsible for Mortgage But Has No Interest in the Real Estate

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: Maryland

    I am the executor of my father's estate. He and his wife purchased a home during their marriage. Since she had bad credit at the time of purchase, he was the sole mortgagee yet the deed was set up as "right of survivorship". Now that he has passed, the estate is soley responsible for the mortgage -- the wife has no financial obligation whatsoever, yet because of the right of survivorship provision, the wife has full ownership rights to the house and the estate can't touch it (can't sell it, can't refi, can't kick her out and get a tenant that would actually pay rent, etc.). So because she once lived off of someone elses's money and generated bad credit, she now gets to live off of someone else's money again and reside in a house for free.

    I've been legally advised that there is no way we can mandate that she contribute towards the mortgage. It makes me sick to my stomach to have to write a substantial check each month on a house that offers me nothing in return and that allows her to live there without paying a dime. It is my undertstanding that if I walk away from the mortgage I risk; 1) the lender pursuing additional estate assets and/or 2) the freeloader suing me for breach of fiduciary responsibility. I am not sure what the odds of these two consequences, or what the process would be if either occurred....can anyone provide any insight?

    Help, this is horribly unfair! Any advice on how I can wash my hands of this mortgage??

    Note - she was not listed at all whatsoever in the will, yet she is contesting the will. The estate is still in probate and is not yet settled.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Estate is Responsible for Mortgage But Has No Interest in the Real Estate

    From what you have told us, the mortgage is a debt of the estate and the estate has sufficient assets to pay off the mortgage. Pretty much across the board, heirs would be happier if they could refuse to pay the debts of the estate and pocket the money that would otherwise go to creditors, but that's not how things work.

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