if my mother passed away without a will how can we can transfer the house into one of her children's names? the house is completely paid off
4 Answers from Attorneys
Your question is about probate law, not business law. Please re-submit it under that category. That way more lawyers with the relevant expertise will see it, and more users with similar questions in the future will be able to find it.
You must open a probate. The property then passes according to the laws of intestate succession. If there is more than one child, they all get a share, although if everyone is in agreement that one child will get the house, the others can disclaim their shares.
I agree with Mr. McCormick. Probate will be necessary to transfer the house to the heirs. Under intestate succession, the house would pass to your mother's closest living relatives absent any agreement to the contrary. Most attorneys that practice estate planning handle probate matters. You may want to speak to one to get an idea of what all the process entails.
The place to start is by examining the deed, as the way title is held will determine what needs to happen. For instance, if the deed says that the property is held in joint tenancy between your mother and someone else, the property will pass outside of probate.
If the deed is solely in your mother's name, however, then the property must pass through some sort of probate proceeding.
I strongly urge you to retain counsel to help you with any probate proceeding. Probate is relatively complicated, and the rules are strictly enforced. Counsel is almost indispensable if there is even the slightest risk of friction between the heirs, if there are claims against your mother's estate, or if there is even the slightest complication.
Attorney's fees for probate are limited by statute in many cases. Many attorneys will charge the statutory maximum, but some will allow for a discount if the estate is not complicated.
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