How would we divide the land and how since there was no will? 39 Answers as of November 06, 2012

My parents had passed away and there was no will. Verbally, my dad gave my brother his acre of land and when mom died last year there was still no will. There were five kids and since then my sister has passed. Can we sell the land and split it four ways. We just don’t know what or how do it since there was no will and one of our sisters has passed.

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

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
In California, there may be a summary probate procedure available if the property is not worth more than $150,000. If your sister left a will or heirs other than the 4 of you (e.g., she had children) then this procedure may be too cumbersome. Apart from that, you would need to consult a probate attorney licensed to practice in the state where the property is located.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/6/2012
Dwight Edward Tompkins, Attorney at Law
Dwight Edward Tompkins, Attorney at Law | Dwight Edward Tompkins
Land cannot be conveyed by a verbal agreement under the law. Since your mother was the second to die, and there was no will, someone in the family will need to petition the probate court to open an intestate probate case, and be appointed the administrator by the court. The administrator under court supervision will administrate the estate, that is, pay the debts, taxes, and expenses of your mother; and distribute the estate equally between the surviving children, and the children of the deceased child.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/26/2012
Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
If your mother passed away less than a year ago you can still open a probate estate in the probate division of the circuit court. The probate procedure will allow distribution or sale of the land in question. If more than a year has passed since your mother died (I am assuming she was the survivor of your parents) then you you must institute a procedure called "determination of heirship." In either case you will need to retain counsel to help you with this.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 10/25/2012
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
In Maryland, you will need to open the estate(s) with the Register of Wills/Orphans' Court in the county where your most recently deceased parent resided. If the real estate was owned/titled by your parents and does not pass through the deed by operation of law, then it may be a probate asset that will have to pass through the intestacy (no will) rules, which will involve you and your siblings as heirs.
Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 10/24/2012
Asset Protection and Elder Law Center
Asset Protection and Elder Law Center | Shadi Alai-Shaffer
If the land is worth more than $50,000 it needs to go through Probate Court first before you can do anything. Either way, it sounds like you need the assistance of an attorney since there was no Will. I suggest seeking legal help before doing anything else.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 10/24/2012
    Richard M. Gee, a PC
    Richard M. Gee, a PC | Richard M. Gee
    You would need to open an informal probate. When there is no will, the law has certain methods of dealing with distribution of property. In your case most likely each of the kids would receive an equal share from the sale of your parents' property with your deceased sister's portion being distributed equally to her heirs.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Law Offices of Michael N. Stafford | Michael N. Stafford
    If the property is held in the names of your mother and dad or either of them the property must be probated. You don't need a will to probate real property. You should consult with an attorney to determine your rights.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC | Darin Christensen
    Under intestacy (the law providing how assets are divided if there is no will), equally among the siblings, with a share for the deceased sister's descendants if there are any. You would need to do a probate or small estate affidavit before selling the property.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    Please accept my condolences for your loss. One of the remaining living siblings will have to file for Probate in the county court where your parents lived. You will not be able to transfer/sell the property without the court's permission. Once probate is opened, the property can be sold. The proceeds would then be divided equally 5 ways (included your now deceased sister). If she had children, her children would receive her portion equally. If she had no children, her portion would then be divided equally among her living heirs (i.e. her siblings).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    First, any verbal promises are not enforceable. If the property was not conveyed by deed prior to his death, there is no enforceable right to that property. If there is no will, the the intestacy laws of the state where he lived will control. The intestacy laws state who gets the deceased property if there is no will. As each state has somewhat different laws as to the order of succession, you would have to find out what the law is that state. Also, in many states, in order to sell or transfer title to the property by whoever is determined to be the heirs requires that a probate be opened and a court order received transferring title. As it likely stands now, title is in the parent's name and no one can sell it since you cannot sign the deed as you (or any of the children for that matter) are not on the title. The probate court order is what will allow the administrator of the estate to sell the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Someone has to petition the court to be named administrator of your mother's estate. You should be splitting things five ways, if deceased sister had children and survived your mother. Get a lawyer to handle the administration of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    In Oklahoma the law of intestate succession leaves the land in equal shares to the children of the decedent. If a child is deceased, his or her children (if any) take that share. An unwritten statement of gift is not going to be effective, as a general rule.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Stone|Novasky, LLC
    Stone|Novasky, LLC | Robert Novasky
    Estates without wills, or "intestate" estates, are distributed according to Washington statutes. Under these statutes, an individual's estate is distributed to family members in a specific hierarchy: The estate goes to the decedent's spouse first, if the spouse is still living, then to the children who are alive at the time of the decedent's passing. In your situation, it sounds like the property may be divided equally between the living children. However, you should follow up with an attorney to explain your particular situation and clarify the proper distribution of the property.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Someone in your family will need to file a petition to administer the estate of your father to obtain the title to the property. Eventually, a court order will issue showing the title of the land to be divided into all of your siblings and to the children of the deceased sibling. Obtain the services of a probate lawyer as this will take some time to accomplish.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    Florida Statutes makes provisions for how property is divided in the case no will is left. Your parent's estate must be probated so that the property can be placed in you and your sibling's names (that's the only way you will be able to gain title to the property to be able to sell it). So you must consult a probate attorney to complete this process. If your deceased sister had any children, her portion would be divided proportionately among her children and they would be in on the sale of the property. If she had no children, the property would be divided four ways. Because if was a verbal agreement between your dad and brother, you and your other siblings would have to agree to quit claim that acre to him and the remainder of the land would be divided five ways (unless the agreement is that your brother would receive only that acre). If no agreement is reached, the land in its entirety would be divided five ways.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    Go to a lawyer and open probate. Each of you will be entitled to an equal share. (Presumably it will be sold and the proceeds divided.) If your late sister is survived by any issue, they will be entitled to divide one share as well.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    With no will, the property should be divided equally among the living siblings. You should consult a probate attorney about intestate succession.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
    Since there is no will, the land must pass through probate or (if the value is small enough) through a simpler court proceeding. An oral will or transfer of property is generally not enforceable. The property will pass by the rules of intestacy, which means that each child would receive equal shares but if your sister had children, then those children would receive the share that would have otherwise gone to your sister. I suggest you contact a probate attorney to help you with this process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    You will need to open a probate estate. You should consult an attorney who will need to know whose name the land titled and when you parents and sibling died to answer your question.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Powell Potter PLLC
    Powell Potter PLLC | Shawn Potter
    A quick probate should be filed. If there are no material disputes over the property and it can be divided by the heirs, the probate can pretty easily be completed. If there are disputes about how it should be divided, a hearing will be held and each person will tell the court why they are entitled to a greater share. The court will then decide how it will be split.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Bassinger & Harvey
    Bassinger & Harvey | Randy J Harvey
    The estate needs to go through probate since there is no will. The court will decide how the assets are divided according to Oregon probate laws. This advice is based on the limited facts that you have provided, additional facts may change the advice.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Depending upon the state you live in, the estate passes to the children, in equal share, since your mother is deceased. Because one of the siblings has passed, they do not receive a portion.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Verbal promises are not enforceable when it comes to land or testamentary matters, so your brother is out of luck. As far as who gets the property, now, it would depend on whether or not your sister had any spouse or child to inherit her share. If so, they would stand in her shoes and it would appear that everything would be split five ways.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    The Curran Law Firm
    The Curran Law Firm | Maura Curran
    You must file a probate for your parent's estate in order to transfer real property. Land is not transferred verbally, you have to have a written deed signed by the owner in order to transfer the property in Florida. A Florida probate attorney will be able to work with you to accomplish your goal to transfer the property.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    You have file a probate of your father's estate in probate court.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You will need to open a probate estate to transfer the property. Because you dad died without a will the statutory plan of distribution will prevail. You should consult with an attorney for this, it need not be terribly expensive or time consuming if all of the heirs are in agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Martinson & Beason, PC
    Martinson & Beason, PC | Douglas C Martinson II
    You (or one of your siblings who lives in Alabama) will have to file an estate to sell or transfer the property. The verbal commitment is not binding and has no legal effect. You cannot sell the land without filing for probate. You should consult a probate attorney in the County where he died and where the land is located to open the estate and handle that transaction for you.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Byers & Goulding, PLC | Andrew Byers
    In answering this, I am assuming the land was titled in both your parents names as husband and wife. If the land was titled in your parents name, you or another interested party will need to open a probate estate in the county where your mother resided in order to settle the estate and distribute the land. If your deceased sister had any children, her children will inherit her 1/5 share under the state's intestacy law. If your sister did not have any children or other surviving descendants, you and your other siblings will each inherit. The verbal gift to your brother will not be effective.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    You don't need a will to commence an intestate probate proceeding which will distribute the land 4 ways.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
    You have my condolences for the loss of your parents. In Indiana, as in other jurisdictions, when a person dies without a will the distribution of the estate is governed by statutes referred to as the Intestacy Statutes. These statutes have very particular provisions as to how your parent's property should be distributed. I advise you to meet with an Indiana attorney who can assist you at this difficult time.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Winnick Ruben Hoffnung Peabody & Mendel, LLC | Daniel N. Hoffnung
    Assuming the real property was held in Survivorship by your parent, and you have filed a Certificate of No Tax on the Land Records for your Mom's estate, you must open an Estate for your Dad in the Probate Court If he had no will, the property will pass in equal shares to each of his children and the legal representative of any deceased child.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Neil J. Lehto, Esq.
    Neil J. Lehto, Esq. | Neil J. Lehto
    The land can be divided or sold if all four surviving children agree in the probate court. Land transfers must be in writing with limited exceptions. If your brother has made improvements it may be unfair to contest his ownership. Even if your sister was married or had children, they are not entitled to her share, which may be a windfall, especially if your brother received one-fifth as opposed to one-fourth.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    You will need to probate your mother's estate to distribute the land.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    GOLD & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
    GOLD & ASSOCIATES, P.C. | KENNETH GOLD
    The property will have to go through probate first. The verbal comment won't matter. The property or proceeds will be split between the kids and if your deceased sister had kids they will take her share.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    Verbal promises are not legal regarding real property. What should happen is all children divide equally the sale of the property. Regarding the deceased sibling, her share will pass in retail shares to any children she may have. So her children step in her shoes and take what her share would have been. Divided five ways equally, with any of the deceased sister's children dividing equally among them one-fifth. That formula works if all children are biological children of your mother. You must probate the real property and any other assets on date of death.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    No will is needed you each get an interest in the property respective to the number of surviving kids there are. You need to file a deed transferring your parent?s interest to the remaining children. Then you will each have a 1/4 ownership interest, and you can do what you want.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston | Edwin Fee
    The property will pass according to the intestate statute, equally among the four children and your sister's estate.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/24/2012
    TrustCounsel | Gregory Herman-Giddens
    You will need to consult with an attorney, as this is a complex situation. A verbal gift of land is generally not valid.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 10/24/2012
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 6 7 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney