Do my parents own the property they bought from the previous owner that died without changing his last will? 29 Answers as of November 19, 2013

My parents bought 3 properties in 1994 for $15,000 in the form of a cashier's check to the realtor & previous owner complete with signed deeds to each property. 4 years later, the previous owner died. Somehow, he did not change his will to reflect that he had sold the same three properties to my parents. His will states that the (3) properties go to his son & daughter. What can we do to correct this error?

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Law Offices of Terrell Monks
Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
Presuming your parents filed their deeds, the property is in part of the estate of the deceased person and there will be no problem. If that did not happen, you will need to hire an attorney to deal with the issue.
Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
Replied: 11/19/2013
Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
You do not need to do anything if the title was transferred to your parents. If the previous owner still referred to the property in his will but no longer owns the property, then there is nothing his son and daughter can do. If the deeds were not filed, there may be a problem you will have to fix.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 10/24/2013
Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
Yes. If the deeds were filed with the recorder of deed's office, they don't need to do anything.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 10/22/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
If he signed a deed to your parents it does not matter what his will says. If he did not sign a deed your parents will need to object to the provisions of the will giving their property to someone else.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 10/17/2013
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
In California (and probably universally) title controls. It does not matter if someone purports to give away property in their will that they do not own. It is void. The owner is the owner, and only the owner can give it away, whether by will or deed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/17/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    If the deeds were recorded, then there's no problem the will devises property the testator didn't own, and effectively does nothing. If the deeds were not recorded, you will have to appear in the probate matter, or in a separate action, and quiet title.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Law Office of Nathan Wagner
    Law Office of Nathan Wagner | Nathan J. Wagner
    You do not need to correct this error. The seller no longer owns the properties, so he cannot give them to anyone through his will, just like he cannot give (or sell) the Brooklyn Bridge to anyone because he doesn't own it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    You don't have to do anything; your parents own the property (assuming that the deed is correct, and has been recorded).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    R. Steven Chambers PLLC | R. Steven Chambers PLLC
    If, as you say, the closing took place in 1994 and a deed was given to your parents and recorded, there is nothing for his will to pass to his children. A will only operates with respect to property that the decedent owned at the time of his death. If he previously sold it (as in your case) or gave it away or even lost it through foreclosure, the will is ineffective. You don't have to do anything. On the other hand, if a deed wasn't given but the purchase price was paid you might have to file a quiet title lawsuit. In that case you should speak with an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    That does not sound like an error. His Will cannot leave something that he does not own. If the deeds conveyed the property to your parents, then the Will provisions are useless. I would make sure the deeds have been properly recorded. If so, then the son and daughter are out of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Law Office of Edward M. Burgh, APC | Edward M. Burgh
    Assuming they got a deed from the prior owner t is no longer in his estate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    If your parents recorded the deeds and the deeds say the property belongs to them, the will has no effect.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    His will is ineffective as to those properties because you paid for them and he transferred the titles to you. Don't worry about the fact he did not change his will, as his will only affects property he possess at death, and he didn't possess those properties at death.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    It's not an error. Since he had previously sold the property, it is as if he never owned it and, there is nothing to pass on. Retain a probate attorney if necessary.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    You should check with an attorney who specializes in estate matters involving real estate. The devises in the Will should abate since the decedent did not own the property in question at his death.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Tim Crouch, Attorney at Law | Timothy J. Crouch
    If they have filed deeds, filed at superior court clerk's office in county where property located, they have good title and the will does not have any effect, but it has been 15 years, so this issue should have been settled.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Law Office of Nadine A. Brown, P.A. | Nadine A. Brown, Esq.
    If the deeds and sale was duly recorded then the sale is final and will not be subject to the previous owner's will. The issue is with clear title and can be remedied by proving the bills of sale and recorded deed to show transfer of title.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    It should not matter if deeds were signed and recorded. Your parents should meet with an attorney who can review their paperwork.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    If he deeded the properties to your parents, end of story. The will is irrelevant and your parents own the properties. The fact that he never changed his will is not your parent's problem.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    If the deeds were properly recorded, your parents should be fine. Just show the recorded deeds to the deceased man?s executor and heirs, and to the probate court if necessary. The will would not matter since he could not give to his heirs what he had already sold to your parents. If the deeds have not yet been recorded, you need to record them immediately and may need to file a lawsuit to establish your parents ownership.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Law Offices of Robert P Bergman
    Law Offices of Robert P Bergman | Robert P. Bergman
    It's not an error at all. When someone dies, there will can only leave property that they still own at the time of death. If the property was already sold, it was no longer in the estate to be distributed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    The will cannot give property that the testator doesn't own. If your parents have deeds to the properties ,they are the owners. They don't have to do anything to perfect having title to the three properties. You should make sure the deeds were properly recorded but you don't need to worry about what the will said.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    If the transfer of the property was legal in all respects, your parents don't have to do anything. No matter what you bequest to others in your will, if that asset isn't part of your estate at the time of your death, it can't be passed on to anyone. The previous owner's children are out of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    As long as the property is listed in your parents name with the property appraiser's office, that is all the proof needed to show that the property is no longer in his estate. Also, showing a bill of sale to the personal representative of the estate will do the trick also.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
    A Will only acts upon property owned at the time of death that is in the decedent's name. Assuming that the deeds were recorded, then at the time of the previous owners death, the 3 properties were not a part of the estate and therefore there is nothing for the Will to transfer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    If the deeds were signed, delivered and recorded, the fact they were mentioned in his will is of no consequence as he could only pass through in a will what he owns at his death. If they were no longer owned at his death, they will does nothing to these properties. He could have left the Brooklyn Bridge in his will, but if he did not own when he died, it makes no difference that it was in the will.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    First question is how do you know what the previous owner's Will says? Second, if the properties were sold and you have the Deeds to prove that, you just need to record the Deeds. One cannot Will away property that they no longer own, so that part of the Will will be null and void.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    If the deeds are good, your parents own the properties.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/15/2013
    The Krone Law Firm, LLC | Norman B. Krone
    There does not appear to be any error. When he sold the property, he no longer owned it, so when he died he nothing to pass on to his children.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/15/2013
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