How can I transfer my parent's property to my sister without a will?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 23, 2016
Fdheath asked...

Both my parents has passed away without a will, how can I get the deed transfer into my sister name who lives in the home in chicago? What do she do now?


Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

Transferring the property will probably not be as hard as it sounds. But it will likely require you to do a bit of footwork and paperwork.

The best place to start is with the deeds or title office that is closest to the place where the property is located. Your sister should call and ask exactly what she needs to do. In some locales, she could transfer the property simply by filling out some paperwork and presenting some documents such as a copy of your parents' death certificates and some documents that identify her.

In other places, she may need to get a copy of the property deed from the title office "“ and then go to the local probate court to open a simple or summary probate of your parents' estate, even if there is no other property left to speak of. Most courts now have some good self-help materials available to help walk her through the process, and some even have people dedicated to such help.

So I'd advise your sister to call both the title company and the probate court.

If the situation seems too complicated for her to handle on her own, she may want to hire a probate attorney for this very specific task.


Community Answers

The kingbird answered...

Here in Kentucky, this problem has becoome more expensive that the properties involved. My brother-in-law died somewhat unexpectedly, but all he had at the time was his older pickup truck. Members of the family wanted to keep the old wreck. The problem is he had acquired a number of traffic tickets, fines, and other legal expenses in the last two years of his life, and it seems that the fines, etc. take presecendence over any other use of any assets. As things stand right now, we will just have to sit the old truck out in the field to rust down.