House sold no probate?

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House sold no probate?

My father passed and left everything to
my stepmother who sold his house and
land without probate. How? I don’t
understand. It was solely in his name.
What can I do? If she didn’t file
probate and he died March 1st, shouldn’t
I get something?

Asked on September 20, 2018 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

First, if he had a will leaving everything to her, you would get nothing--there is no right to inherit as a child if the decedent (person passing away) wills his estate to another. So even if procedurally, she skipped probate, if there was a will in her favor, it won't help you, since when the will is probated, it will validate this.
Second, if her name was on the property as a "joint tenant with right of survivorship", then when he died, it automatically became hers, as the surviving "joint tenant," without any need for probate. You indicate it was solely in his name, but you could be mistaken about that or he might have put her on the title/deed after the last time you checked.
IF she was not on the property (e.g. deed or title) and there was no will in her favor, then you should have inherited; in that case, you could sue her to recover compensation (e.g. the  money from selling the house). If you believe this was the case, contact a probate attorney to look into bringing a legal action.


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