If someone dies without a Will and owns a house, how do their heirs transfer it into their names?

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If someone dies without a Will and owns a house, how do their heirs transfer it into their names?

My mom just died and has a house in her name alone; my stepfather’s name was not on it. She did not have a Will. How do I go about probating to get the house put in mine and my brother’s name (the only survivors)?

Asked on December 29, 2011 under Estate Planning, West Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Just to be sure the house is considered to be separate property of your Mothers and not a marital or joint asset?  Then it is part of your Mother's total estate and the estate will pass through the intestacy statute in West Virginia.  It needs to go through probate and some one needs to be appointed as the personal representative of the estate to transfer it.  Now, understand that just because it was not in your step father's name does not mean that he may not be entitled to a portion of the value of the house.  When some one dies with out a will -intestate - there whole estate is divided as per the statute and spouses are included.  Please seek legal help here.  You need to straighten things out.  Good luck.


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