If my mother passed with no Will, how do I go about transferring her property into my name?

UPDATED: Aug 27, 2012

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If my mother passed with no Will, how do I go about transferring her property into my name?

Asked on August 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, Maryland


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Each state has procedures to transfer title to property after a person dies without a will.  Some procedures are more complicated than others.  For example, Florida has a reasonably complex series of laws covering a person's homestead property and requires opening a full administration estate in the Probate Court to transfer that title.  On the other hand, Florida has fairly simple and quick procedures for transfering title to an automobile. 

The first question you need to answer is "who is entitled to the property?"  This depends on the law of descent and distribution in your state.  If you are the only child and your mother had no spouse at the time of her death, it is reasonably safe to predict that you are the person entitled to the property no matter what state you live in.  On the other hand, if there are other children or a spouse, this gets more complicated.

I suggest that you make a list of your mother's property and then call the Probate Court in the county where your mother lived.  While the courts will not give legal advice or represent you, the clerks or magistrates will often tell you where to get information specific to your circumstances.  That court's web site may also have useful information, and your state's bar association web site often has useful information.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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