Atlanta, GA asked in Probate for Alabama

Q: How does my family deal with my grandmother's house..she died with no will and 3 adult children...

One adult child is currently living there, we are in Al and not familiar if she can get the house in her name if the 2 siblings don't contest it

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

A: When a person dies without a Will, their assets pass to their heirs at law. In a situation where a single individual died with three children and left only a home, then that home passes in equal shares to the three children. After two years the home "vests" in the heirs and good title can pass to the heirs using a deed and something called "heirship affidavits."

No one can claim title to the home just by living there (absent the rare application of something called adverse possession), but that person in the home may be entitled to receive reimbursement for expenses (or at least his or her share of those expenses). In these situations it is usually best to strike a deal with the surviving siblings and ask each to quitclaim their interest in the home to the person who wants to keep it. There are many options when it comes to "striking a deal" ranging from an outright purchase to a life estate. Open and honest communication by all parties will make it much more likely. Good luck!

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