What requirements must be met in order to declare a property abandoned?

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What requirements must be met in order to declare a property abandoned?

According to Will and Probate, surviving common law wife allowed to live in deceased house for the remainder of her life. Upon her death, house and land become sole property of deceased children. Was recently discovered that the wife had moved completely out of the house (all contents removed). What requirements must be met in order to declare property abandoned so family can legally maintain the property and take possession?

Asked on November 29, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are going to have to do something about the life estate before you can do anything.  Would it be possible for you to do this between family members and without going to court?  In other words, have the common law wife relinquish her rights to the life estate which would then allow you to proceed through the probate courts and obtain the property?  Contact an attorney in your area as to this matter.  If she will relinquish her rights then you are in the clear.  If she will not then see if you can bring a proceeding to declare the property abandoned and cut off her rights, although generally speaking that is a difficult thing to do.  Good luck.


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