How if possible can I take measures to inherit my grandfather’s land?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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How if possible can I take measures to inherit my grandfather’s land?

My grandfather owned a piece of land and when my grandmother passed away he married another woman. This woman lives on the land currently. Her and my father are in agreement by word that it is fine for her to live there but when she passes away the land is supposed to go to me. My grandfather promised me 10 acres of land but never left a Will so she got that and sold it before anyone could intervene, after he passed away. We don’t speak with her anymore because of this and other things. How, if possible, could I or my family go about securing that land for me. Also, when she passes away, and does not have a Will or children, and has not married again, where would the land go or is there a way I can claim the land as rightful owner?

Asked on February 9, 2017 under Estate Planning, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Her oral agreement to have the land go to you when she dies is irrelevant and unenforceable: only a will controls what happens to property when someone dies, so unless she creates a valid will and leaves the land to you in it, anything she said or agreed to previously does not matter.
Since your grandfather passed away without a will and the land went to her as his spouse, it's hers to do with as she wishes--she can sell it, gift it, will it, etc. You have no ability to control what she does. 
If she passes away without a will and has no surviving spouse or children, if there is no will, the land will pass to her parents (if they are alive) or to her siblings and/or "descendings of siblings" (nieces, nephews, grandneices or -nephews, etc.) under your state's rules for "intestate succession" (who gets what when there is no will). It will not go to you, a person unrelated to her.

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