Is it true thatproperty sold 3 months prior to the owner’s death goes to the estate?

UPDATED: May 6, 2011

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Is it true thatproperty sold 3 months prior to the owner’s death goes to the estate?

My father lived in AZ and died 2 months ago. My stepmother, who had legal power, sold a house he owned in FL approximately a month before his death. The house was deeded in his name only. His Will stated that all his assets, excluding the house they lived in in AZ, is to be divided up among all of us. However my stepmother says that since the FL house was sold while my father was still alive that the proceeds all go to her. I have heard that in some states the any property that is sold within 3 months before death goes to the estate.

Asked on May 6, 2011 under Estate Planning, Arizona


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the problems that have ensued. Who told you that?  Are you sure it did not have to do with the issue of estate taxes?  I would seek advice from an attorney in your area on this matter in general.  It sounds as if you are going to have a fight on your hands and a Will contest to gear up for.  If you Father was not in any way competent to transfer property and she did so with the intention to defraud the estate then you can contest her appointment as the executor of the estate as well (I am assuming that she was appointed in the Will).  Please seek legal help here.  Good luck to you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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