Q: How do I find out if my brother's estate went through probate in Alabama and if property we owned jointly was included?
My siblings and I own property in Colorado together with our now deceased brother. However, we don't know if our brother's wife and/or children still have rights to the property. We'd like to get our brother off of the deed. How can we tell if it went through probate already as part of his estate? He died in 2015. Do we have to initiate probate on this property if his estate already went through probate and did or didn't include this property in Colorado?
A: Check ownership of the Colorado property with the county assessor. If it was held as tenants in common, his share passes to your brother's estate and whatever arrangements he made. If it is held as joint tenants with right of survivorship, his interest expired upon his death and the remaining tenants own all of it. In the latter case, you should record a certified copy of his death certificate. You will need to check with his county of residence when he died to see if there was a probate estate opened.
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