Q: My husband's brother died no will. But a forgery has appeared in the hands of his business partner. He had no children.
His wife has been dead a while. You can see the document is fake. There are 8 siblings alive, one is his wife's sister. There's a 10-acre parcel that half belongs to the deceased wife. Do we give her half to her sister? We already know the greedy Will forger won't prevail. Just want to be fair with the land.
A: When you have property left in the name of someone who has died, the only way to transfer that property is to do either a probate or get an Order Determining Heirs. If you have a Will, you normally do a probate. If you have no will, or if it has been over 3 years since death, you will need an Order Determining Heirs. This Order comes from filing a case in state court. The documents filed will include quotations from state law giving away the property based on the law at the time of death. After it is signed by the judge, the Order can be recorded with the county to transfer the property.
The law of intestacy (those who died without a will) governs the distribution of the estate. If your husband's brother's predeceased wife held title at joint tenants with the decedent brother, then title would pass to the decedent brother. At your deceden't brother's passing, since there are no children, would first go up the tree to your decedent brother's parents (if still living) then to his siblings equally.
It will have to go through the probate process and any will presented will have to be examined by the Court. If the business partner is forging legal documents and is willing to present them to the Court, I would definitely retain an attorney to help you deal with this. I hope this helps.
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