Who gets the property?

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Who gets the property?

My mother and father jointly owned property, in the deed it stated at the time of either death, their part goes to their heirs. Is the heirs the children?  My mother has passed away a while back, but my father is still living. They had no will — just the deed. And if the kids are the heirs does each of their names have to be spelled out in the deed to get any of the property? And will the property have to go through probate, at my fathers death. The property is in West Virginia.

Asked on June 7, 2009 under Real Estate Law, West Virginia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Heirs could be anyone.   Let's start with the facts we don't have enough information.

1. How did your parents own it? If the deed itself says part goes to their heirs -- then it is not joint tenancy but tenants in common.  Did they then each own 50%?

2. If so, did they have a will? A trust? If no, then:

3. It goes by intestate. So that means that essentially dad keeps his 1/2.  Mom died. So mom's half based on above will or should be for all the kids together (i.e., if there are thre kids, they each own a part of her 50%).

4. It will most likely all go through probate depending on how the deed is written and if in your state it could override intestate and probate matters.


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