Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

Title and Deed

My Grandmother died in 2003, I now occupy the house that she lived in and I grew up in and have all of the utility bills but one in my name and pay the taxes. However, the title and deed have her name and my father's name listed. We have not seen my father in over 20 years and she has not heard from him as well for years before she died. I have also sent certified letters after doing a people search to addresses where he may be and they have been returned undeliverable. How can I go about having the house transferred into my name in order to obtain grants and such to help with repairs? I cannot even get an alarm system installed because it is not in my name. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Asked on 1/19/07, 11:08 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Solomon Weinstein Solomon Weinstein, Esquire
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Re: Title and Deed

You have a very complicated problem. you do not indicate whether the deed was held as joint tenants with rights of survivorship or tenants in common. In the first instance the entire home would belong to your father. In the second instance he already had fifty percent of the property and his interest in the rest would depend on whether the grandmother had a will or if not who would be entitled to the property under the intestate laws.

In any event you should seek immediate legal help. there are remedies but they are dependent on finding your father or determining whether he is still alive. I would be happy to meet and discuss the matter with you if you contact me.

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1/19/07, 12:53 pm
Miriam Jacobson Law Offices of Miriam N. Jacobson
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Re: Title and Deed

If you think you would qualify for free legal assistance, please contact Community Legal Services at 2159813700 to find out when they have intake hours. Eligibility is based on your income. When you call them, mention that you have a "tangled title" problem.

Whether or not you qualify for free legal services, it sounds as if you need to probate at least your grandmother's estate and possibly also your father's estate, if he has died.

It would be useful for you to prepare a family tree, starting with your grandmother and grandfather, and all children of everyone on the tree, and working down to your generation, showing all birth dates, marriage dates [and spouses and their birth dates], and death dates. If you have a family bible or funeral programs, which often show family members of the deceased, this will be useful to the attorney who will assist you in administering the estates and clearing and getting title into your name, if you are the appropriate heir under a will or under intestate law.

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1/19/07, 3:46 pm

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