Q: Uncle wants me to sign off on my grandmothers house
My grandmother passed 8yrs ago
She had no will so my uncle has been living there paying her mortgage my mom passed away 2010 which it was her mothers house also
He wants house in his name
But i do not agree and will not sign off
What can i do to make both of us happy if something happens to him i want the house
A: You need to get a copy of the deed and review it. If the deed was only in your grandmother's name and there is no surviving spouse (grandfather) at the time, then it is likely that the property should have gone through some version of probate (or petition for homestead filing) in order to create clear ownership, which would have put the property into the name of your grandmother's children in equal shares. Since this was never done, it likely should and must still be done. I am very sorry for your loss of your mom, please accept my condolences. You mom likely needs to have a probate done as well, the property after your grandmother's probate would have gone in part to your mom and then on your mom's passing, her portion would have gone to her spouse and or children ( you and any siblings). Your uncle is wrong, the property does not and will not go into hiss name alone most likely unless the original deed of the property from your grandmother says otherwise. You really need to speak with and work with a Florida Probate Attorney as no ownership rights of anyone has as of yet been confirmed or created. Once the probates are addressed, it is likely you can work something out with your uncle, some sort of a life estate and or similar but the probate actions will likely be of priority. Starting point, property deed and a Florida Probate Attorney for probate related advice, feedback and or filings.
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A: If an estate was not opened 8 years ago, then either you or your uncle would need to hire an attorney to open one. In this estate, at some point the judge would sign a court order which would transfer the house to the heirs. Your uncle would receive his fractional share, and you would receive your mother's share (together with her other children, if any). Once the court signs the order, then you can negotiate with your uncle for him to purchase your share. If your uncle has hired an attorney to assist him with opening the estate, you may speak with that attorney to explain the estate process to you as an heir--or if you do not receive a satisfactory explanation, you can hire your own attorney to represent you as a beneficiary. If your uncle has not hired a probate attorney and believes that he can get the house in his name just by having you sign a document, which is incorrect, then I would strongly recommend that you hire a probate attorney and open the estate yourself.
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A: It is possible to obtain a title insurance commitment to determine who owns certain real estate and what is needed to clear the title, such as a probate administration. The title company would base the commitment on a title search of county Official Records. The search usually costs $75 to $300 and can be ordered from a reputable licensed title insurance agency.
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