Q: What are my rights to the property that is owned by my father and stepmother after his death. There is no will.
My father passed earlier this year and left no will. My father jointly owns 13.36 acres with my stepmother, she has two sons with my father. Due to the fact that there is no will do I inherit any of the property and how much?
When it comes to that specific piece of real estate, it's impossible to know just what would happen without knowing the exact form of "joint ownership" your stepmother held it with your father. When there is no will, property will pass to the heirs according to a set of rules for intestate succession (which basically just means "without will"). However, depending on how it is owned, real property can pass according to the rules that apply to that type of ownership instead of passing through the intestate succession rules. Basically, the intestate succession rules only apply to any property (real or personal) that ends up in your father's estate. It is possible that the real property didn't end up in his estate at all, because of how it might have been held while he was living. As such, we would need to know if it was held as community property, as joint tenants with right of survivorship, etc.
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A: I apologize for the delay in answering this question. Assuming your step-mother is still alive - If your father owned the property jointly with your step-mother as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, then you will not be entitled to any portion of that property. If your father owned is with your step-mother as joint tenants in common, then you most likely have rights to a portion of that property. If your step-mother died before your father, then these answers would be slightly different. I recommend you contact a probate or estate planning attorney to get some help with this.
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