If a parent dies, does the property automatically fall to the spouse when there is no survivorship deed?

My mother passed away about 8 years ago. There was a Will made but it was never put on record. The property was never probated. My father wants to give each of us a deed for an acre of land. How does he do this legally? Is the Will good and do all of the kids have to sign off on it or can he just deed the land to each of us?

Asked on July 18, 2012 under Estate Planning, Kentucky


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  So the Will was never submitted to the probate court to be probated. That could or could not present a problem here.  How the deed was held between your parents will be the decideing factor.  Generally when you are married you hold property either as tenants by the entirety or as joint tenants with rights of survivorship.  If the deed was held this way then probate for the property is unnecessary as your father inherited the property automatically at the time of your Mother's death and can transfer it to you and your siblings with out a problem.  Get legal help  to do it.  Good luck. 

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