San Antonio, TX asked in Estate Planning for Alabama

Q: My widowed Mother passed away in Alabama and left 135 acres of land without a wiIl. It's still in her name.

It was understood from my Mother that it would be divided equally between us upon her death, but she did not put that in a will. There were 5 adult children when she died in 2009. My brother passed away in Dec. 2018. He leaves a wife and 3 adult children.

When the land is surveyed and divided, will it be divided in 4 or 5 parts? There are only 4 surviving children now.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jack T. Carney
Jack T. Carney
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Birmingham, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: When someone dies without a Will, assets in their name pass to their "heirs at law." The heirs at law are determined at the time of death. Further, real property (land) vests in the heirs after two years. In your hypothetical I would suggest that the property will pass in 5 shares. The share of your deceased brother would pass according to his Will or if he did not have a Will, then according to the laws of intestacy. You may want to seek the services of a title company or a real estate attorney to sort out these ownership issues. Further, if you are dividing the property into equal shares, you will probably need to get the consent of all owners and as mentioned above the owners of your deceased brother's share may be in question. Good luck.

This answer is not intended to be legal advice, nor is it intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. I do not have enough information to provide you with an answer that you can rely upon. Please seek the services of a legal professional if you need specific guidance.

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