Champaign, IL asked in Real Estate Law for Illinois

Q: Who owns when a prop tax bill reads: my friends name on 1st line, estate of my friends dead exstep mother in law on 2nd?

My friend has a property that was inherited to her husband when his father passed away. His will read that his current wife reside in the house until her death, then the property was to go to my friend and her husband. The current wife died about 3 years ago. My friends husband has also passed. Who has right of ownership to the property. My friends name is on the 1st line, so as long as she's living she's the rightful owner? Can she sell the property?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James G. Ahlberg
James G. Ahlberg
  • Rochelle, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: The order in which names are listed on the tax bill cannot be relied upon and doesn't prove who owns anything. If your friend is concerned about this, her best bet it so take all of the relevant documents (her father-in law's will and death certificates for everyone involved who has died [if she has access to them]) to a lawyer who practices in the field of real estate, and let him or her figure it out. She's unlikely to find a lawyer who'd offer a reliable opinion without looking at the documents.

Peter J. Weinman agrees with this answer

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