Hayward, CA asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for California

Q: My grandmother had a will but couldn't sign it due to her illness.

My grandmother had a will but couldn't sign it due to her illness in 2004 (she passed away the same year), despite that, things in the will were still distributed to those intended by my grandmother. It was intended for my grandmother's house to be left to me and my sister,specific furniture in the house was given to my mother and my grandmother's car was given to my aunt and she destroyed it on the freeway, another aunt was given a refrigerator that she didn't take and another aunt was given a clothes dryer that she didn't take. Due to my aunt receiving the car regardless of the will not being signed by my grandmother, is that just as good as the will getting signed for the simple fact that those involved still complied with the will?

1 Lawyer Answer
Gerald Barry Dorfman
Gerald Barry Dorfman
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Mill Valley, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your question is much too complicated and fact-specific to be answered in an online forum such as this. Generally, an unsigned will is not a valid will. Agreements regarding real estate must be in writing. Title to real estate must pass according to the established rules, or else court action is required. A lot depends on what has happened to the house in the 16 years since your grandmother's death. Some sort of court proceeding, or multiple proceedings, will be required to sort out this situation. You should consult a knowledgeable attorney.

Yelena Gurevich agrees with this answer

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