What documents do I need to sell my deceased mother's property? 23 Answers as of March 24, 2014

My mother died last 2003 and my father died last 2010. Now my sisters and I want to sell the house and the lot but the title of the lot was still in my mother's name (with my father's name as he was married to my mother). There are no documents or any last will of testament from both of them. What documents do I need to get for us to be able to sell the property? I would really appreciate all the help you can provide us.

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Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
You have to probate his estate in order to get full legal title to the property.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/24/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
You will need to probate the house to get permission to sell it.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/21/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
You will need to open probate. See a probate lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/24/2014
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
I am assuming you had a typo and that your dad died first and your mom died in 2013 (not 2003 as you listed) but in either case. You need to file a probate action for the last of your mom or dad to die and get appointed personal representative of the estate. Then the personal representative can list it for sale. You will need a true copy of the death certificate of the first to die at closing to clear title. The proceeds, after all expenses, will be distributed to the heirs at law of the last to die.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 3/21/2014
James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
You need to open probate to clear title. See an attorney as soon as possible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2014
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Suggest you obtain the services of a probate lawyer to assist you in clearing title to the property.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    C Page Hamrick Attorney at Law | C Page Hamrick
    You need to start and complete the administration of the estates at the probate supervisors office in the local county commission. That will place the title to the real estate in the names of the heirs, who can then deal with it as they please.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
    How did they hold title? As husband and wife as community property? As joint tenants? As tenants in common? Probably you will need to probate your father's estate. So hire a lawyer and get on with it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Vandervoort, Christ & Fisher, P.C. | James E. Reed
    Your facts seem to be that the house was titled in your mother's and father's name and mother died first. If this is so, then a certified copy of your mother's death certificate needs to be recorded in the Register of Deeds in the County where the house is located. Your father's estate needs to be probated. Once your father's estate has been filed for probate it could simply be to have a personal representative appointed, then the personal representative can sell the house or the personal representative can distribute the house to the heirs at law and they can sell the house.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    It depends on how the property was titled. Probate may be necessary. Since your father apparently survived your mother, there would likely need to be an estate for him. Using a probate attorney makes the most sense, since you are not the only beneficiary.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    You should speak with a probate attorney. You will need a court order.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    It sounds like title is in "mother and father, husband and wife." So when mother died, father owned the property by operation of law. Father dies, and now you need to administer his estate. Petition the court for administration any of the siblings can petition to be the administrator. Property will pass in equal shares to the children (or children of a child who has already passed away). The administrator can sell the house in the probate process and distribute the proceeds.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
    It would depend on how they held title to the property. And you will need to go through the probate court to transfer the property from your father to the children. If the property was held as joint tenants you can transfer title from your mother to your father?s name by recording an affidavit of death and death certificate for you mother. The value of he property will determine what procedure you will need to use to petition the probate court and have title transferred to the children. If there is legal aid service to help you can probably do this yourself, otherwise you will probably need an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
    It is too late to open a probate proceeding to administer either estate. What would have to be done would be a determination of heirship proceeding which has a number of formalities including notices to all potentially interested persons. It is a court proceeding so you would have to be represented by counsel. A determination would be made as to how the property in your father's estate would be distributed since there was no will. The court order would then be the basis of transferring title in assets such as the home they lived in.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    You need to hire an attorney and go through probate court to have the property transferred to you and your sister?s names for you to be able to sell the property. Probate court is the only was that the property can be placed in your name to accomplish that.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    It is not simple because everybody waited too long. More than likely, the real estate passed to your father on mom's death. You may be able to get the title in the children's names by affidavit, but that depends on state law and the recorder's office. I think you really need to contact a local probate attorney to help you sort through this.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    If the title to the property, as stated on the latest deed, was in your mother's name then the property is in her estate. If the title to the property was held in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship by your mother and father then the title is in your father's estate as the last joint tenant to die. Since neither your father nor your mother had Wills the property passes to heirs under the Statute on Descent and Distribution. Assets in your Mother's estate would be distributed ? to your father and ? divided among your mother's children (born to or adopted by her). Assets in your father's estate would be divided among his children (born to or adopted by her). If any of your siblings predeceased your mother or your father then their children (the grandchildren) would divide the share that would have gone to your predeceased sibling if alive. If the real estate was owned by your mother then you should open a probate for her and transfer the real property to the heirs. A probate for your father would have to be opened to deal with his share. The court appointed representative in each estate would have the authority to execute deeds to transfer the property. If the property was held in joint tenancy then only a probate for your father would have to be opened. The real estate would be sold by the representative and the net sale proceeds distributed. If no probates are opened then there will be a defect in the chain of title since only a court appointed representative can execute a deed and transfer property in a decedent's estate. It may be possible to obtain title insurance and insure over the title defects. If you provide a title company with an extra premium payment a title company may insure over the title defect and provide the purchaser with the comfort of an insurance policy guaranteeing ownership that is backed by the insurance company. The title insurance company will require all of the heirs, including grandchildren if they are successors in interest, to execute the deed. They would probably also require indemnification agreements from each heir that is required to execute the deed. They would also require an affidavit of heirship and an indemnification that all claims against the estate(s), including any taxes, have been paid. You would have to shop for an insurance company willing to insure over the title defects and provide them with the information and documentation that they require. If there are grandchildren who are successors in interest and those grandchildren are minor's, then another complication arises as to who has the authority to execute the documents on behalf of the minor children.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    You will most probably have to open an estate to transfer the title. Hire an attorney to assist. It should not be too difficult or expensive.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    You will need to probate your mother's estate. Contact a lawyer who specializes in estate administration.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    You will have to probate the estate(s).
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Estrada Law P.C. | Michele Ungvarsky
    Check with your local county clerk's office. They can guide you as to what is necessary.
    Answer Applies to: New Mexico
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
    In Ohio, property of parents who died without a will go to their children. You'll need to go to the county probate court and fill out the necessary forms to have their estates settled. Part of this will be issuing a certificate of transfer which will put the property in your names.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 3/21/2014
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    You will have to open probate proceedings, since the title owners of the property are deceased.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/21/2014
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