Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Virginia

Q: Are my grandmothers nieces and nephews entitled to land that was owned by my great grandmother but never deeded ?

My grandmother had a mobile home on property that my great grandmother purchased. My great grandmother passed without a will but my grandmother has since paid the taxes on the property up to date. My grandmother had 7 siblings and only 4 are left which are all on board with a quit to claim deed in virginia but the lawer I spoke with was under the impression that the 4 siblings that have since passed kids are entitled to making decisions or forcing a sale . Is there anything I can do as im planning on building on the property and my grandmother will be occupying it with me.

2 Lawyer Answers
Ross Cameron Hart
Ross Cameron Hart
Answered
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Salem, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: The lawyer you talked to is correct. The interests of children of your great-grandmother goes to THEIR children on their death. I suggest you get deeds for whatever shares you can, then approach the others for their shares. This can be very complicated and time consuming. And you absolutely need an experienced lawyer to help you through it.

If anyone wants to force a sale of their interest they have to go to court - which is expensive no matter which side you're on.

Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
Answered
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: It doesn't matter who paid the taxes. Everyone in the line of succession has rights to the land, and, after a couple generations, it is an expensive mess to resolve. Those are really fun cases for a real estate lawyer, and my favorite was one I traced all the way back to before the Civil War in order to clear title. If you build on the land without clear title, your building belongs to everyone of those unknown heirs, and they can petition to sell it right after you finish building. Your better investment is to develop a strategy to collect and clear title.

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