Q: What is the statue of limitations in Maryland for an unrecorded deed
My father brought a house with his first wife, he divorced and married my mother, when he died his name and his first wife name was on the title. My mother brought his ex wife half. Now my mother has died and my father name is still on the house. I was told me his daughter had the same rights to his half as my mother. How do I put his half in my name
A: Your father’s half interest passes according to his will, or if none, then to his heirs at law. So, a lawyer would need to know if your dad had a Will, and what it says; or alternatively, whether you are your father’s sole biological child, or if you have siblings, all of whom are entitled to inherit equally. An estate must be opened (or reopened) in order for a Personal Representative (PR) to be appointed who can direct the issuance of a new deed to the lawful heirs of his half interest. Your stepmother would have had a legal right to make an elective share against your father’s estate as his surviving spouse. The percentage elective share is either one-third or one-half, depending on whether you or any siblings were minor children at the time of his death. There is or was a deadline for your stepmother to make her election. It is unclear when your father died or if an estate was ever opened, so whether the time has passed for your stepmother to make her spousal election is also unclear. Meet with an estate lawyer and once all the facts are made clear, you can get an answer to your questions.
A: A deed can be recorded anytime after it is signed, but how an unrecorded deed affects other people's rights in a particular piece of property depends on the specific facts of the situation. Very generally speaking someone who pays market rates for real estate and is unaware of any other deeds can rely on what deeds they find in land records.
From time to time spouses who transfer property pursuant to a divorce decree or other separation agreement fail to promptly record a deed -- it isn't clear from your post whether the original owners signed a deed or only intended to.
You are strongly encouraged to sit down with a lawyer who can look at the recorded deed, plus any "unrecorded deed" and the Will (if any) and outline the possible rights of the various interested parties. While I hope this general information helps, it doesn't take the place of getting attorney advice on the specifics of your situation.
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