What to do about joint estates?

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What to do about joint estates?

My mother died 5 1/2 years ago. Her Will was never probated but left her assets to my father. He died 7 months later but his Will has been probated. I have contract to sell his only asset, our family home. Can I honor a contract to sell with just my father’s Will probated and divide money to siblings as stated in our father’s Will?

Asked on December 4, 2013 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

The answer depends on what is written on the deed that granted title to your parents. If the deed says that they took title as joint tenants, tenants-by-the-entirety, or with right of survivorship, then the home automatically passed to your father when your mother died. No probate was necessary. But if the deed says they took title as tenants-in-common, then her estate would need to be probated. 

For you to sell the home, you will need to have the probate court appoint you as personal representative or executor of your father's estate. You can then sell the home and divide the money according to the will. 


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