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Deceased Property Owner, How to Get Good Title

Posted on Mon Apr 22, 2019, on Probate and Estate Administration

From Our “Ask a Question” Mailbag: “My grandmother died a few years ago, but we didn’t open her estate.  Her House is still in her name. She is a deceased property owner; how do we get her name off the deed?”

deceased property owner probate

Peter Klenk, Probate Lawyer.

Deceased Property Owner, How To Get Good Title.

When a person dies, their property rights pass to someone else. The process varies.  

Deceased Property Owner, No Will and the Family In Conflict.

If a person dies owning a house, but without a Will, then the house’s new owner is determined using the Rules of Intestacy. But, first, someone must be named the Administrator of the deceased’s estate. If the Rules of Intestacy state that the children get the house in equal shares, they can’t just go to the Register and change the deed. The system requires proof of a person’s death. Further, the method involves creditor payment. The Probate Process addresses these issues.

If the relevant people cannot agree, then the Register holds a hearing and selects an Administrator.  An experienced Estate Litigator is a considerable advantage at these hearings.  

Example:

    • Grandma Philadelphia died a widow without a Will.  She had several children, some who died before her. Those children that died had children. So, Grandma’s house is divided one share for each living child and one share for each deceased child, but that share divided equally between the dead child’s children.  Each person is eligible to serve as the Administrator.  If they cannot agree, one of the people should hire an Estate Litigation attorney to petition for a hearing. The Register will listen to all the evidence and select an Administrator.  It is wise to prepare for this hearing, so the Estate Attorney can present you as the best possible candidate and to deflect the adverse claims from other family members.  Once appointed, the Administrator can sell the property, settle Grandma Philadelphia’s debts, and distribute the remaining funds.

Deceased Property Owner, Without A Will Family Cooperating.

Intestacy rules dictate who has the right to serve as Administrator. Important factors about who is eligible depend on if the deceased was married, had children and further who among those eligible has a credit rating good enough to secure a bond. If all relevant people agree, then they can allow one or more of the eligible people serve.  The Probate Attorney can then submit a Petition demonstrating that all related persons agree. The Register will then appoint that person Administrator.

The Administrator then has the authority to secure the property.  Further, the Administrator can put the property up for sale or transfer the land to the heirs.

In Conclusion: Deceased Property Owner and Probate.

Follow this link for more detailed information about the Probate Process Deceased Property Owner.

When you have a deceased property owner, securing the property is essential.  If relevant people agree this streamlines the Administration process. But, if family harmony isn’t possible, the responsible family members should move forward with a Petition as quickly as possible.

Let our Estate Litigation and Probate Lawyers help walk you through what can be a confusing process. To begin with, call to speak to one of our Estate Litigation Attorneys.  By all means, our lawyers are ready to answer your questions. Feel free to contact our office for a free consultation. Ultimately our goal is to make the process as painless as possible!

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Estate Administration, Probate, Probate Attorney, Probate Lawyer

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