Q: My mother has been taking care of some rental property for a man who is now deceased. What can she do to take ownership?
She lives in Maine, has been paying the taxes on the property and isn't sure if the deceased man has any family.
A: I am sorry, but I do not think your mother has any right to take ownership based on her paying the taxes on the property. If she is interested in finding out who owns the property now, then she should check the local registry of deeds records to see if the deceased man owned the property in only his name or jointly with someone else. If he owned it jointly with someone else, then his interest in the property will typically pass to that other person automatically upon his death. If he owned it in only his name, then she will need to find out if the man died with a will and, if so, what the terms of that will provide with respect to this property. If there was no will, then she will need to find out if he has any relatives, because Maine’s intestate succession laws will determine who owns the property after his death.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
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