My deceased father is on the title of Grandma's property. How do we proceed with selling the home?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2016
June 2012 asked...

My Grandmother put the title of her home, (which is paid for) with her name, and all her children. She died recently with no will, my dad passed a year and a half ago with no will. His name is still on the title, so do I ( his daughter) and my brother have any rights to the proceeds of the sale and/or do they need our approval to sell the property? Again, no will, my father also had no will. My aunt says the property will not have to go into probate. Again, do I have any rights?


Expert Answers

Frederick Hertz is a lawyer, mediator and author based in Oakland, California whose work focuses on property co-ownership and financial relationships between siblings, families, spouses and domestic partners, business partners, friends, and unmarried couples. He provides both transaction and negotiation counsel and also serves as a mediator and arbitrator in these areas.

Transferring title from a deceased co-owner is subject to the law of your state, and it depends on the form of title that was used. If the title was held as joint tenancy, with a right of survivorship, then the ownership is transferred to the surviving co-owners without the need to go through a probate process. However, if the title did not include a right of survivorship, then your aunt is correct, it must go through the probate court process. And, the ownership of her share (and your dad's) will be subject to the intestacy rules of your state, which regulate who gets property of someone who died without a will.
You should take a look at the title to the property, and then consult wth a local estate attorney, who can advise you as to the rules of your particular state. Then, depending on how title was held, the attorney will tell you what process is necessary. If a probate process is required, then the sale process and the allocation of the proceeds of sale will be determined by that process.