Can I transfer the will to my name? 9 Answers as of June 07, 2011

On May 17, 2011, my mother passed away unexpectedly. As unfortunate as it was, she did not have a will in place & I have 3 surviving siblings. The mortgage on her home has been paid in full. However, in addition to her name, my father's name is also on the deed. They have been divorced and living apart for over 15 years. Is there anything that my siblings and myself can do to have the deed transfer into our name? Or, What are my options or the procedure to our names placed on the deed to prevent my father from trying to sell the property?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
If your mother was granted the property in the divorce, it should be a part of the divorce decree. You will need the divorce decree and your father will become a debtor to the Estate. He should deed the property over to your Mother's estate, or to you children. His failure to file the deed should result in you having a legal claim against him.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 6/7/2011
The Coyle Law Office
The Coyle Law Office | T. Andrew Coyle
You will likely need to get a copy of the divorce decree showing that the residence was granted to your mother. Once you have that, you can take that and your mother's death certificate to a local attorney to see if you can have the title transferred (you would probably need to pay an additional bond). More likely, though, you will need to open a probate estate in court to have the residence transferred.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 6/7/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
You must start an Administration proceedings in Surrogates Court to have the deed changed into your names since the house should be only in her name if the divorce was done properly. However, the best way to do that is to hire an estate attorney to represent you and them. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/7/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
Its important to see how your fathers name is listed to determine who will own the property. You should consult with an estate planning lawyer to see what options you have.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/7/2011
Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
This is not an easy question to answer without having all of the facts. It would appear to depend on how your mother and father held title (joint tenants, tenants in common) and whether or not the title to the property was a subject addressed in the divorce judgment. You should consult with a real estate attorney who can protect whatever interests you may have. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 6/6/2011
    Law Offices of Brian Chew
    Law Offices of Brian Chew | Brian Chew
    It all depends on how the property is titled between your Mom and Dad. If they were listed as joint tenants, your Dad as the survivor will get the property automatically. It does not matter what is stated in your Mom's will or whether or not they have been living together/divorced. If they are listed as tenants in common, you will likely be awarded 50% ownership of the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    If your father is on the deed, depending on the wording of the deed, either he now owns 100%, or he owns 50% and the other 50% would be divided in a probate. If he is the 100% owner, you do nothing as you have no claim. If he's the 50% owner, you get a lawyer and administer the half the property.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/7/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    I am sorry to hear about your mother's passing. Unfortunately, if the deed was never changed pursuant to their divorce, and the two of them held title by "tenants by the entirety" (most married couples obtain this type of title), your father will now be the sole title holder automatically. In that case, nothing can be done to prevent its sale.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/6/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    The property would now be in the name of your mother's estate and your father. To sell the property would require the signature of him and the executor of the estate. Why is he still on title? Did the divorce papers say anything about what was to happen to the house in the divorce (like he was supposed to sign the house over to her but never did, or was he supposed to retain an ownership interest until she did something like refinance or sell and buy him out)? If it does, then whatever it required needs to occur. If it did not, or if he was supposed to sign over the title and will not now do so, you may have to file a Quiet Title action to have the court convey the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/6/2011
Click to View More Answers: