My grandmother passed away in 2002. She had 2 surviving daughters, one of whom died a few years later. The surviving daughter later asked us to sign a document to allow her to sell the property. (there were 11 grandchildren). I later found on a property valuation of the land online, that we were listed as "old owners", and below each name our aunt was listed as "new owner". Were we legally entitled to a share of the sale of the property? We were not aware that our names were on the documentation.
3 Answers from Attorneys
No one here can possibly answer your question. We don't have any of the documents you mention and you say nothing about what the documents were. You should know what you signed. We don't. We also know nothing about the title to the property, whether there was a will or what it said, etc.
It is impossible here for anyone to know, as no one here has read the deeds and other documents, or even what documents there are.
Obviously, none of you should sign anything without taking your documents to your lawyer.
While I don't know what you signed, I'll take a stab at it.
Assuming that your grandmother lived in Georgia and had no will at the time of her death, her land would have gone in equal shares to her children. If there was just the 2 daughters, then each gets 50%. When the one daughter died, I will assume that she likewise did not have a will and that her share of the property would pass to her husband and children. This is the scenario that makes the most sense because the surviving sister would not have been able to do anything unless the dead sister's heirs all agreed.
The problem is in what you signed. Did you truly just allow the surviving sister to sell the property? Or did you actually convey the dead sister's 50% to the surviving sister? I think that if it was the former, then the lawyer would have withheld 50% at the closing to be distributed to the deceased sister's heirs. Since this was not done, it makes me think that what was signed was a quitclaim deed in which the heirs conveyed the land to the sister. if this was done, the surviving sister would own the land and could do what she wanted with it and would not have to pay for it unless it was the subject of some kind of separate agreement. If that is the case, I don't know when the documents were signed, but you are out of luck unless there was some kind of fraud. Just not knowing what you were signing will not be good enough for the courts. You had a duty, if you did not know what you were signing, to go to a lawyer.
What I would do now is take all the documents and pay a lawyer to review them and see where you stand just in case something can still be done.
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