If my dad, his brother and their 3 sisters own a small piece of property but my uncle died a year ago, who now owns his portion of that property if he died without a Will?

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If my dad, his brother and their 3 sisters own a small piece of property but my uncle died a year ago, who now owns his portion of that property if he died without a Will?

Asked on August 30, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It depends on just how title to the property is held. Are the names listed followed by words such as "with rights of survivorship"? If so, then the propety is held in "joint tenancy" which means that the remaining property owners increase their share in the property proportinately. In other words, they keep it and it does not go to your uncle's heirs. If, however, the deed does not contain this language, then the property is held as "tenants in common", which means that your uncle's share becomes a part of his estate. In this case, since your uncle died without a Will (i.e. "intestate"), his assets (after creditors are paid, etc.), go to his heirs which would be his surviving spouse and his children. At this point, you can consult directly with a local lawyer for further advice.


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