How can I determine if I have a right to a house that was both my grandparent’s and my aunt’s?

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2014

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How can I determine if I have a right to a house that was both my grandparent’s and my aunt’s?

My grandfather 54 years ago; my grandmother 6 years later (she had no Will). My aunt (no kids) lived in house and her name was on the title with both of my grandparents. My aunt died this year; my father predeceased her. My aunt’s Will left all to her neighbor. Do I have a legal claim to part of this property?

Asked on July 19, 2014 under Estate Planning, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The deed is the key.  If the deed listed all parties with "rights of survivorship" then the property passed from the three of them to the two of them and then to your Aunt automatically at the death of each of the parties.  And then your Aunt can leave it to anyone she chose and she chose her neighbor.  If , however, there was no right of survivorship between them (and by them I mean your grandmother and aunt because there is automatically between a husband and wife) then your grandmother's share would have passed to her heirs under the intestacy statute in New York.  And you Father would have inherited a portion. But you need to speak with some one who can look at the documents and let you know.  Good luck. 

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