How do I claim a real estate inheritance?

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How do I claim a real estate inheritance?

When my mother died she still owned the house that she and my father bought during their marriage. The house was given to her by my father during their divorce some time ago. My mother had remarried some years before she died. Upon her death we discovered she did not have a Will in place. I was told that because there was no Will and because the house was non-communal property between my mother and my stepfather, ownership of the house would be handed to the next of kin. Distribution would be 1/2 to my stepfather, 1/4 to me, and 1/4 to my sister. How do we go about claiming our half of the house and property so that it’s not sold out from under us?

Asked on May 27, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I really think that you need to consult with an attorney in the Florida area on the matter and you need to bring with you the deed to the house.  Who ever told you about the distribution may be correct but then again, they may not be correct.  While it is true that your Mother dies "intestate" and that the intestacy laws int he state will prevail, there is something key left out here: did she transfer the property in to she and her husband's name or is it considered separate property and thereby going in to the pot, so to speak, of her estate?  If it is the latter  - which is what I am assuming given the information in the question - then the personal representative can either transfer the property to you all in various shares of sell the property and distribute the proceeds accordingly.  But remember that if the estate has debts some of the money may need to go to pay them first.  You really need someone to look at the entire picture here.  Good luck.  


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