Losing your spouse can be a sad and stressful time. However, you shouldn’t also have to worry about losing your home during this difficult period. Here are some ways that you can get control of your mortgage situation so you can stay in your home and manage your mortgage payments and budgeting after the death of your spouse.
Things to Consider After the Death of Your Spouse
There are several things that you should be clear about when it comes to your mortgage and your home. These include:
- Whether your name was on the mortgage
- How much is left owing on the mortgage
- What were the monthly payments
- The details of your deceased spouse’s will
- What types of mortgages you may be eligible for
- Whether or not there was mortgage insurance on the property
If Your Name Was on the Mortgage
Resolving the mortgage issue can be easy if your name was on the mortgage. In most cases, you will be able to take over making the payments. If you are not sure you can continue making the same payments as before, there are some options open to you.
Tips for Paying the Mortgage as a Sole Survivor
If you are interested in staying in the home you and your spouse shared together but find the payments too high, there are some things you can do. These include:
- Refinance. Ask your lender to refinance the mortgage and see if you can reduce the payments or get a better interest rate.
- Reverse mortgage. This is an agreement with your lender that you can make if you have enough equity in the home. It can help free you from making mortgage payments and possibly even access some of the equity in your home.
- Cosigner. Sometimes, if your financial situation is not as strong as it was when your spouse was alive, it can be helpful to find another family member to cosign the mortgage for you.
If Your Name Was Not on the Mortgage
The situation can be a bit more complex if your name was not on the mortgage or you were not a cosigner. Lenders may seek to have the debt paid in full after the death of your spouse, which is why it is a good idea to hire a lawyer to help navigate the process. While this may seem like a scary process, it doesn’t have to be.
The first step is to have your spouse’s will put into probate. This allows for anyone who feels they are owed money by your late spouse to make their case. That includes mortgage lenders. However, it does not usually include credit card companies. Another consideration is that there may be taxes still owned on the property, and those will need to be paid in full before the house can be sold.
Dealing with mortgage details after the loss of your spouse can be complicated. However, in Canada, it is possible to keep your home and take over the mortgage payments after your spouse dies.
If you are interested in learning more about your mortgage options after the death of your spouse, call Northwood Mortgage™ at 888-492-3690 or contact us here.