Hartford, CT asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for Connecticut

Q: my father passed away in 76 with no will. and owned a home with my mom.. she sold the house .. are we entitled to money?

my father passed away in 1976 without a will. My mother stayed with the home and raised us in.. she recently sold the home . my question is are me and my siblings entitled to any monies from her selling the house.

1 Lawyer Answer
Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Oklahoma City, OK

A: The answer depends on how she owned the home. Most likely, she and your father owned the home as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship. This would mean that both of them owned the entire interest in the property equally and entirely, so when your father died, she would have remained as the sole owner. This happens automatically by operation of law and no transfer occurs. Thus when she sold the home, she would have been entitled to all of the proceeds because she would have been the sole owner.

Take a look at the deed to the property (probably a deed to your father and her as husband and wife). The language of the deed determines the nature of the title she received -- whether as a joint tenant, a co-tenant, tenant-in-common, or other type of interest -- with your father. If she was a co-tenant, tenant-in-common, or if the nature of the interest wasn't specified, then there may be a problem requiring that your father's estate be probated and her title to the property would depend on the state's laws of succession, possibly entitling other heirs to an interest in the property along with her. An experienced real estate or probate lawyer in the state where the property is located can review the deed and tell you specifically whether she became the sole owner when your father died. Many offer free initial consultations. Good luck.

P.S.: My comments here are for general information and are not legal advice on your specific situation nor do they create an attorney-client relationship between us. Contact an attorney in your state for legal advice.

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