If my aunt died4 years ago without leaving a Will, who is entitled to the proceeds of her house?

UPDATED: Feb 15, 2012

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If my aunt died4 years ago without leaving a Will, who is entitled to the proceeds of her house?

My cousin (not my deceased aunt’s son) lived in my aunt’s home until the end of last year. He went to court, was appointed administrator of her estate, and sold the house. He is dividing the proceeds of the sale among surviving family members. My brother (my only sibling) died 13 months ago. He and his wife had no children. Is his wife (my sister-in-law) entitled to a portion of the proceeds from the sale?

Asked on February 15, 2012 under Real Estate Law, New York


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It usually goes by probate. If he was designated administrator, what do you mean that he was not your aunt's son. If this was not her adopted or natural son, he had no entitlement to the proceeds. He sold the home, which he could do as administrator appointed by the court. He was to then divide them based on your state's probate laws. If the parents of your aunt (your grandparents) survived, they should get the proceeds. If the parents are deceased, then it should go to the surviving siblings of your aunt. Here, if your mother is alive and any other siblings your aunt has. Now if your state says it goes to everyone down that lineage (i.e., even if say your mom was predeceased, you would get the proceeds), then that is okay. Check with the administrator *your cousin and you can challenge this in court if you feel the wrong people got the proceeds.

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