Who receives real estate property personal property upon death with no Will?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who receives real estate property personal property upon death with no Will?

My father owned a home and on the deed his name appeared first and my brothers second as right of survivorship. My father passed away 3 years ago and my brother passed away recently. Upon reviewing the deed, it was discovered that the deed still remains as it was originally drawn up with my father and my brother both on it, my brother never filed the necessary paperwork to have the deed transferred solely to his name and have my fathers name removed. My brother had no Will and has one child. We are trying to determine short of hiring a probate attorney we realize that may be necessary at sometime, however are trying to get some preliminary info now to determine if one is needed how the real estate would legally be passed along. I believe typically in VT it’s passed along to next of kin, meaning if my brother had filed the paperwork to have the deed appear as him being the sole property owner it would go to his son, however since both my father and him still appear on the deed and they’ve both passed would the house be passed along to me as next of kin to my

father? Additionally, my mother is applying to be executor of my brothers estate, if and once she’s granted this, does that enable her the ability to go through the things in the house and do what she wants with them, as far as cleaning the place out. We are unsure of what is in the house, there may be things of value and if there are, it’s very few most would be normal household items such as

furniture, dishes, accessories, etc. as well as personal belongings such as my brother’s clothes and things like that.

Asked on November 29, 2017 under Estate Planning, Arizona


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your losses.  If the deed lists your Father and your Brother with "rights of survivorship" then it passed to your brother automatically at the time of your Father's death.  The fact that he did not file a new deed does not matter.  It is legally in the estate of your brother and now will be solely his sons.  The Mother of your nephew should be appointed his legal guardian immediately and yes, the executor of the estate can go through the house because he or she needs to inventory assets.  Sounds, though, like you do not trust her so maybe you should contest her appointment and ask to be appointed yourself.  Good luck.

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