House sold no probate?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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House sold no probate?

My father passed and left everything to
my stepmother who sold his house and
land without probate. How? I don’t
understand. It was solely in his name.
What can I do? If she didn’t file
probate and he died March 1st, shouldn’t
I get something?

Asked on September 20, 2018 under Estate Planning, Kentucky


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

First, if he had a will leaving everything to her, you would get nothing--there is no right to inherit as a child if the decedent (person passing away) wills his estate to another. So even if procedurally, she skipped probate, if there was a will in her favor, it won't help you, since when the will is probated, it will validate this.
Second, if her name was on the property as a "joint tenant with right of survivorship", then when he died, it automatically became hers, as the surviving "joint tenant," without any need for probate. You indicate it was solely in his name, but you could be mistaken about that or he might have put her on the title/deed after the last time you checked.
IF she was not on the property (e.g. deed or title) and there was no will in her favor, then you should have inherited; in that case, you could sue her to recover compensation (e.g. the  money from selling the house). If you believe this was the case, contact a probate attorney to look into bringing a legal action.

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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