Can a house in Va be sold if the house was left to someone in a living will?

Asked by Kdn0626, 22942 Thu Apr 8, 2010

My boyfriend is locked up right now and was left a house in a will. Can someone turn around and sell this house even though it was left to him. And how can you find out if a house was sold?

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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Apr 9, 2010
As the others here note, he wasn't left the house using a living will.

Your boyfriend needs a lawyer (for this question as well as his other issues!). I'm not a lawyer, so this isn't legal advice. However, in general . . .

If your boyfriend was left a property in someone's will, then there should be an executor of the will. Someone to make sure that the will is carried out. There are all sorts of legal duties and fiduciary responsibilities involved with that. So, the executor can't just decide to ignore the terms of the will. The executor is supposed to abide by the terms of the will and if that means transferring ownership to your boyfriend, that's what is supposed to happen. The executor would have the legal ability to sell it to someone else, but--again--would be facing all sorts of legal troubles if he/she did so.

If the property had been in a living trust, there are procedures to bring the house out of the trust. The trust would have a trustee, who would have that power. Again, though, the trustee must abide by the terms of the trust.

You can tell if a house was sold by going to your county courthouse and look at the records. Initially, you can research it online. Here's a link (I think it'll work) to the Orange County property records look-up service: If that doesn't work, go here: and select "Property Search." These online records may be slightly out of date, though, so you'll get the most current information by going to the courthouse.

Hope that helps.
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Vicky Chrisn…, Agent, Purcellvile, VA
Fri Apr 9, 2010
Are you talking about a TRUST? A living TRUST? It's really hard to answer your question. First, we're not quite sure what the situation is, and even if we have the info, there are few attorneys here and your boyfriend may need legal advise, not general advise. Sorry.
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Deborah Mill…, Agent, Durham, NC
Thu Apr 8, 2010
Kdn0626 - I think you may find it helpful to go on line to the city the property is in and check to see if anyone has paid the tax from last year for starters. Then look to see how they have the property listed. If it is in the Estate of the deceased or in your boyfriend's name or ? You may also want to inquire as to the will and who is the executor or executrix or handling carrying out the will and you can check this out with the Estate Division of the City of the deceased in Va. I think this will get you started in fact finding but since I am a Realtor and not an Attorney I do suggest as to wanting to know laws in Virginia you seek legal advise from an attorney who specializes in real estate and estates. I hope this is helpful.

Deborah RIgsbee Miller, NC REALTOR
Coldwell Banker HPW
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Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Thu Apr 8, 2010
The only thing I left out was that he could be willed the house, but if it has a mortgage on it the bank could still foreclose on the property if payments were not made.
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Dan Chase, Home Buyer, Texas City, TX
Thu Apr 8, 2010
I think you used a wrong term. Up here usually a living will is used to describe what life saving procedures can be used. If certain life extending procedures are allowed or not.

If he was left the house in a will that means he got the deed. If he now owns house and has the deed with his name on it no one else can sell the house.

If he was willed a portion of a house depending on just how the will is written maybe it could be a forced sale.

Are you talking a life estate? That is where one person owns a house but another has the right to live in the house until they die.
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