Dunedin, FL asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York

Q: My mother died in 2001 without a will. How do I retrieve my property?

My mother died in 2001 without a will. I have two brothers, one has passed away. The property left without a will is located in Barneveld, NY. It is 5 acres. My brother who passed away was the executor of the estate. I asked him for years to give me my portion of the property or buy it from me. He refused. I have been living in Florida since my mother died. My brother's wife still lives in a home adjacent to this property. Can you help me determine how I can either sell the property, get a quit claim deed, or sell it to my sister in law? She is in her 80s now and I am not sure if she will cooperate since I have not been able to get this settled all these years. Thanks. Jolie

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2 Lawyer Answers
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN

A: Hire a NY attorney, not a title outfit. He will need to determine heirship, search the title, and ultimately determine who owns the tract. Who has been paying taxes? If not you, it may already be someone else's. Probate might be required, but probably heirship and/or taxes control ownership.

Obviously sister in law will claim ownership, so you may have to file a Quiet Title suit.

Bonnie Lawston
Bonnie Lawston
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Huntington, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If he is the appointed executor by the probate court, you can make a motion to substitute him as executor because he has passed and the estate assets have not been distributed. The executor cta or new executor will then sell the property, satisfy any outstanding debt and make the distribution in accordance to the terms of the Will and law.

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