How to get property deed switched from a deceased person?

My step-sister died years ago. Both her parents are dead and her 2 siblings are no longer around. Their whereabouts are unknown. Myself and immediate family have been caring for the property since her death. However the taxes have been left unpaid for the past 3 years and now the county/state is saying it will auction the property. I am willing to pay the taxes but I would like to get the property in my name. However I am unsure how to do this with being her dead and her brother and sister disappeared. What should I do?

Asked on August 20, 2011 Mississippi


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Did your step-sister have a Will leaving you the property?  Then unfortunately under the intestacy laws you wouldnot inherit the property. Her siblings own it as next of kin.  One would also have to go through a probate proceeding in order to transfer the deed (a personal representative of the estate would have to be appointed and they would be the one to transfer the deed to the beneficiaries).  But again, it does not appear that you have any legal right to the property.  If you pay the taxes you may have a lien and depending on the laws in your area you may be able to eventually foreclose with the lien and own the property but you would need to speak with an attorney in your area on the matter.  Good luck.

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