How to gain legal ownership of abandoned property?

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How to gain legal ownership of abandoned property?

A single woman passed away and her condo, which is free and clear, is still in her name. It has been

abandoned for 11 years. Can I claim the property legally?

Asked on August 26, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot. The fact that a property has allegedly been "abandoned" does not let someone else claim or take or acquired it. Even if there is no mortgage on it, there may be taxes owed, which would give the government first call to it; and even if there are no taxes owed, the property will pass either by will to whomever is designated, or if no one was designated by will, according to the rules for "intestate succession." And if there is no one who would get the property under a will (e.g. there was no will) and no relatives close enough to inherit under intestate succession, then condo "escheats" to the state (it becomes state property when there are no heirs).


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