If the owner of land dies but has a wife and 3 adult children, do they split the land 4 ways?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If the owner of land dies but has a wife and 3 adult children, do they split the land 4 ways?

However since the father’s death the wife has had land re-deeded in her name. She had

stated that she wants to sell it. Do the adult children heirs have any legal standing?

Asked on December 27, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If there was a will, the land goes to whomever the will said it did.
If there was in will, in Mississippi, the land would go to the spouse and the children in equal shares, UNLESS, it had been owned by the spouses as "joint tenants with right of survivorship," or JTROS, in which case it immediately and automatically became the wife's property solely as the surviving owner or joint tenant. But if the land had been in his name only, it would go to her and the children. She and the children would each get an undivided 1/4 interest in the land--i.e. each becomes 1/4th owner of the whole thing. They could then agree (after the land becomes theirs, after probate) to physically split it; or they could sell it and split the proceeds; or some could buy out the others; etc.

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