Home Selling in Fort Pierce>Question Details

Maggie, Home Seller in Fort Pierce, FL

If the owner of a property dies without a will, how can family members obtain a title for the property? This is considering that the deceased was

Asked by Maggie, Fort Pierce, FL Mon Nov 9, 2009

not married at the time and living alone in the home.

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Best suggestion: see a real estate attorney
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 9, 2009
We all agree that you need an attorney in Florida who is experienced in estates.
Web Reference: http://www.MainLineWest.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 9, 2009
Definitely an attorney and I suggest John Sherrard, of Stuart, Fl phone 772 283 9322
His paralegal , Donna is very helpful.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 9, 2009
Hi Maggie,

As the other agents have said this could get messy. It is possible that there could be liens against the property that are more than the current value of the house.

You should definitely contact a real estate attorney for advice in this matter.

Nadine Mauro
The Herman Group Real Estate
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 9, 2009
You need a probate attorney.

If the deed to the property was in the names of two or more people, then ownership typically will go to the others on the deed. So if the deceased was previously married, and the ex-spouse's name was on the deed, then the ex-spouse might well become the owner.

Different states have different laws on how property gets transferred, and to whom. For example, in some states, if a person dies without a will (it's called intestate), the property passes to the spouse. If the person is unmarried, it might pass to the children. However, you say the "deceased was not married at the time." If the deceased was previously married, then the ex-spouse might possibly be able to assert some claim to the property, whether or not that ex-spouse is on the deed. Again, that's a state issue, and things can get very, very complicated.

All this assumes that the property was not in a trust. If the property was in a trust, then the trust documents (and not the will) will determine who ends up with the property.

And if it wasn't in a trust, if it was in the deceased's name, you still may not be able to obtain the deed. It becomes part of the assets of the estate. Let's say the property is worth $100,000. And let's say the deceased had bills and debts of $50,000. Most likely, a court would direct that the property be sold, the debts paid off, and the remainder divided among the heirs, as determined by the state law.

It can get very messy. That's why you definitely need an estate or probate attorney.

Hope that helps.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 9, 2009
Don Tepper, Real Estate Pro in Burke, VA
I believe it goes into Probate at which you will need to wait for court to sort out who the property then goes to.

But I am not a real estate attorney and suggest you contact one in order to help you resolve this issue.

Sean Dawes
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 9, 2009
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