How is a deceased parent’s property divided?

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How is a deceased parent’s property divided?

My mom an dad were married for 50 years. She recently passed away suddenly in her sleep with a heart attack 10 months ago. She owned 5 acres of land in her name alone and my dad owns the trailer in his name alone. He is still living but recently remarried 5 months ago. Now he is trying to sell the property. If he sells the land with the trailer, since it was in my mom’s name, will we have to sign for him to sell it? My mom didn’t have a Will.

Asked on July 31, 2011 Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You mother died "intestate". This means that she died without a Will. Accordingly, the intestacy laws of the state in which she was domiciled as of the date of her death will control. Assuming that was TN this means that her estate should be divided as follows: the surviving spouse receives either 1/3 of the entire estate or the same share as the surviving children, whichever amount is greater; the children receive the remainder.

At this point you will need to probate her estate; the administrator can then make arrangements for signing the deed over and distributing the proceedsto the heirs. You can contact the probate court in the county in which your aunt died. It should be able to direct you further.

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You mother died "intestate". This means that she died without a Will. Accordingly, the intestacy laws of the state in which she was domiciled as of the date of her death will control. Assuming that was TN this means that her estate should be divided as follows: the surviving spouse receives either 1/3 of the entire estate or the same share as the surviving children, whichever amount is greater; the children receive the remainder.

At this point you will need to probate her estate; the administrator can then make arrangements for signing the deed over and distributing the proceedsto the heirs. You can contact the probate court in the county in which your aunt died. It should be able to direct you further.


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