If my mother-in-law own a piece of property with a friend, what are her rights since her friend died without a Will?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If my mother-in-law own a piece of property with a friend, what are her rights since her friend died without a Will?

Both of their names are on the deed. The friend died without a Will almost 20 years ago. She was common law married to him but right of survivorship is not checked on the deed. At the time of his death, she settled up with his daughter but it was a verbal agreement, nothing legal. The daughter died. His grandaughter is still alive and probably unaware of the property. My mother-in-law has been paying the taxes on the property all of these years. She would like to sell it. What are the grandaughter’s legal interests in this property at this point?

Asked on January 3, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Since your mother-in-law's husband died intestate (without a Will), the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.
Under intestate succession, the surviving spouse inherits the entire estate.  Therefore, your mother-in-law inherited the property and anything else that was part of her husband's estate.  Consequently, the granddaughter has no claim to the property.

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