Joe passes away. Sally, his wife, continues to live in the home she occupied with Joe. Five years later she decides to refinance the house. The mortgage broker contacts Sally a few days before signing to let her know that they can’t move forward with refinancing until she has a legal interest in the home.
What went wrong?
It turns out that the house was owned solely by Joe at his death, meaning he was the only legal owner on the title/deed for the property. Therefore, a probate should have been opened at his death to transfer legal ownership to Sally. Since a probate was never opened, Sally must now go through a court proceeding to transfer the house into her name before she can refinance or sell the home.
Remember, it’s all in the details.