Last year my mother in-law passed away. My husband, brother in-law and my sister-in-law inherited the property of their parents. My sister-in-law’s intention was to buy my husband and brother in-law share of the property but she didn’t want to do anything for 6-months. My husband’s health was declining do to his cancer. My husband passed away before he could put his 3rd of the property into our Living Trust. After his death, my sister-in-law had an appraisal done and offered to me and my brother-in-law each a 3rd of the property. She had the title company send paperwork to release any interest in the property. I signed the release and received the money. Now, 2 months later, the title company is calling me telling me that they made a mistake. That my husband’s 3rd should of went to probate and if he had any paperwork with his intention to place into the trust. I haven’t responded to them yet. The money has been distributed. I don’t know what I need to do? Can I be taken to court and required to return the money? Do I need an attorney?

Asked on August 23, 2018 under Estate Planning, California


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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation as it is.  Yes, you should consult an attorney.  The Title Company is likely correct: it should have gone to Probate since it was not placed in any type of trust.  How much you received will also play a factor in how to proceed from here.  Good luck.

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