Property bought during marriage. My name is not on deed: Is it default TE or a TIC? How can my son (not his) inherit?

Spouse purchased property during our marriage but my name was not on the deed or mortgage.  The only thing I care about is that my son has a place to live if I’m not around, that he inherits half. I think that tenancy by entirety means spouse gets 100%, son 0%? Is that what the deed currently is by default?  Does a TIC allow my son to get 50%? Is there some way to make sure son gets 50%?

ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU:

As of now, you have no ownership of the property to pass down to your son.  Even if obtained a 50% ownership and you did pass 50% down to your son, would your son and husband be able to live in the same house together?  What happens when your son and step-son are now co-owners?  Step-son is going to want his inheritance.  If your son doesn’t buy him out, step-son could force a sale of the property by filing a petition to partition.  You and your husband need to sit down with an estate planning attorney.

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Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

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The estate administration and estate planning attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for estate planning, probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.

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