What options do I have with my mother’s estate if it has not been probated in the 5 years since she died?

UPDATED: Oct 11, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Oct 11, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What options do I have with my mother’s estate if it has not been probated in the 5 years since she died?

She did not have a Will. So my siblings and I get the estate. I moved into the house shortly after her passing. My siblings have not done anything with the estate including checking account (which is in my name) and house. They are just now talking about putting the estate through probate and they then want to sell me the house for an inflated market value. What options do I have? Is there a certain time frame if nothing was done that the property becomes mine because I am in possession of it?

Asked on October 11, 2011 under Estate Planning, North Dakota


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The theory of law that I think that you are alluding to is known as adverse possession, which is occupying a piece of land or property adverse to others claim of right.  There are a whole bunch of factors that need to be looked at but the time frame seems to be between 10 and 20 years, depending.  So here you have not met that threshold.  But honestly I do not think that you would have much luck claiming it either.  Can the estate be probated now?  Yes it can.  I would tread very lightly here as well since you have your name on funds that are not yours.  I think that you should speak with an attorney about the matter.  Have you been paying upkeep, utilities, taxes, etc., with your funds or with money from your mother's account?  There could be a set off here.  They have a right to sell as much as you have a right to keep it.  Get help.  Good luck. 

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption