Can I claim my deceased aunt’s property if she died without a Will?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I claim my deceased aunt’s property if she died without a Will?

My deceased aunt and her shortly-thereafter-deceased husband owned a

couple of acres and a mobile home in Tennessee. Since they passed, nobody has filed probate on the property, and their son my cousin has rented out the trailer. My father also passed, about a year after my aunt and uncle had his own mobile home on the same property, and on their passing had assumed payments for the property and trailer. The 3 of them had a verbal agreement to sell the property and other trailer to my father but my aunt and uncle both passed before entering into any written agreements. Since no one has filed a motion of probate on the property to date, and the people living there are living there under my deceased relatives’ name, can I file a claim on the property and assume whatever mortgage remains?

Asked on September 19, 2016 under Estate Planning, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If your aunt  passed first, then her husband, then all her property (if she did not have a will leaving it to someone else) because his and their son's: the spouse and children (when the outlive the person who died) inherit everything from the decedent (person who died) and share in it. Therefore, you have no claim to the property--it becamse first the husband's and son's, then, when he died, it all went to the son: it is his solely (though if he has any siblings you did not mention, then it would be shared with them).
Oral agreements to sell property are not enforceable after death; they are void.
Based on what you write, you do not appear to have any claim to any property there other than if any personal property on the land was clearly and solely owned by your father; then that personal property would be yours.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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