Q: My boyfriend's mother died with no will, his grandparents took the deed and the death certificate. What can he do?
The grandparents are taking things from the house and they say the house is theirs just because they have the deed (that isn't in their name). My boyfriend just turned 18 and has no idea what to do or who to talk to. Also the property value is under 50,000
A: If mom died single (unmarried), the grandparents most likely have no right to the property they are taking. Your boyfriend and his siblings, if any, would be the mom's heirs but the grandparents would not. Taking possession of a deed that has been recorded in the land records would not affect the title to the property. If they took possession of an original deed that has not been recorded, that is a different matter. (Check the land records of the county where the property is to see if the deed was recorded.) Your boyfriend should speak to an experienced probate lawyer near him to get specific advice about his rights. Many lawyers have free initial consultations. Justia.com can help you find one nearby. Good luck.
A: First of all, I am sorry for your boyfriend's loss. Since the mother died without a will, the interest passes by intestate succession. I assume that his mother died without a spouse. In that case all of the estate passes to the children in equal shares. If he is the only child, he gets it all. If the house was titled in your mother's name alone, your boyfriend would inherit all of it. You have to obtain a copy of the deed to determine how the property was titled. You can do that by going down to the county clerk's office and asking for a copy. You can file a probate case and have the court issue an order for the grandmother and father and anyone else who absconded with estate property to turn it over to the executor. You should talk to a lawyer to proceed with a probate case.
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