If my mother-in-law passed away intestate and she owned a duplex in her name only, do we have to hire an attorney to transfer title?

My mother-in-law passed away intestate. She owned a duplex in only her name. All other assets were held joint with my husband. How do we transfer the title of the duplex? Must we hire an attorney? Since this is the only assetsin question can we avoid probate? My husband is an only child and there are no other heirs. The tax value as of 2 yeras ago is $204,000 but tax values for other duplexes in the area are less.

Asked on March 13, 2012 under Estate Planning, California


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You need to have some one appointed as the fiduciary of the estate. It can only be transferred via executor's deed. If she passed away intestate then the intestacy statutes apply for distribution. If this was her only asset and ll other passed automatically upon death then you can probably do this for very little.  So negotitie a price.  You could do it on your own but you may come up against a wall if the state requires certain affidavits as to the family structure.  Good luck.

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