MI Family Property

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MI Family Property

My Grandmother died w/out a will 30 yrs ago and left property (no house) just property. There were 5 siblings, all are now deceased except for one Uncle. I, the granddaughter of one of the deceased siblings, have kept up the property (taxes & lawn upkeep) for the past 20 yrs w/no help from anyone. How can I get the property in my name?

Asked on May 31, 2009 under Estate Planning, Colorado

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It might not be easy -- but it might not be impossible.  You'll need a good wills and estates lawyer, though, to wade through this one.  One place to find qualified attorneys in your area is http://goallineblitz.com/game/player.pl?player_id=947160

What should have happened, more or less, when your grandmother died, was that the property should have been sold and the proceeds divided among the five siblings -- unless there were an agreement for one of them to buy the others out, of course.

The fact that this wasn't done might not mean that those siblings' children -- your first cousins -- aren't entitled to their respective parents' shares.

At the same time, you are entitled to some return for preserving the asset for everyone.  And in some states, the law might, depending on the facts, allow you to ask the other branches of the family to each reimburse you for 20% of what you spent.

Yes, it can and probably will get complicated.  Please don't try to do this yourself, because a mistake is both easy to make, and expensive.


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