How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LegalKnowledge Your Own Question
LegalKnowledge, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26296
Experience:  10+ years handling Legal, Real Estate, Criminal Law, Family Law, Traffic matters.
Type Your Legal Question Here...
LegalKnowledge is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Good Morning, My fiance and I know of a house that the owner

This answer was rated:

Good Morning, My fiance and I know of a house that the owner has passed away and no family is wanting to claim the house that she had question is how do we go about finding out who has the property? We would like an opportunity to buy the house....Thanks Melissa
Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help solve your problem.

Good morning. I certainly understand the situation and concern. If the person passed away, their estate will need to go through probate. Probate is a legal proceeding to administer certain kinds of property (called probate property) owned by someone who has died (the decedent), and to see that claims, expenses and taxes are properly paid, and that the remaining estate is distributed to those entitled to receive it under the decedent’s will or Ohio law. Probate property is all property titled in the decedent’s name alone. It is distributed only under the decedent’s will or according to Ohio law. A probate proceeding takes place in the probate court of the county where the deceased property owned lived. If there is a will, this person usually is named in the will and is called an executor. If there is no will or no person is named in the will, this person is appointed by the probate court and is called an administrator. The statute of descent and distribution, also known as the intestacy statute, is the law that spells out how the probate assets in an intestate estate will be distributed to the decedent’s heirs after all claims, expenses and taxes have been paid. Generally, the statute favors those heirs most closely related to the decedent. With that being said, the following situations typically apply and would be used to determine who gets the home.

If a decedent is survived by a spouse and no surviving children or descendants of deceased children, the entire estate goes to the spouse.

If a decedent is survived by a spouse and one or more children or their descendants, and all the children who survive or have lineal descendants are also the children of the surviving spouse, the entire estate goes to the surviving spouse.

If a decedent is survived by a spouse and one child or the child’s descendants and the surviving spouse is not the natural or adoptive parent of the child, the spouse receives the first $20,000 from the estate plus one-half the remainder and the balance of the remainder passes to the child or the child’s descendants.

If a decedent is survived by a spouse and more than one child or their descendants, the spouse will receive the first $60,000 if the spouse is the natural or adoptive parent of one, but not all of the children, or the first $20,000 if the spouse is not the natural or adoptive parent of any of the children. The spouse will receive one-third of the balance of the estate and the children will receive two-thirds of the balance of the estate. Descendants of a deceased child divide that child’s share.

If there is no surviving spouse, but surviving children or their descendants, each of the children receives an equal share of the estate. Descendants of a deceased child divide that chlid’s share.

If the decedent has no surviving spouse or children and no descendants of deceased children, the estate goes to his or her surviving parent(s) or, if both parents have died, in equal shares to brothers and sisters or their descendants.

With all that being said, if you want the home, you would need to find out through the court, who is handling the Estate. You can then contact that person, advise them that you are interested and see if they would sell it to you or place you in contact with the heir that will own the home now and see if they will agree to sell it.

Please let me know if you have any follow up questions or need any clarification on something which I stated above, prior to rating me. Also, please remember to rate my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars, before exiting the site, so I can receive credit for my help. I hope you found it to be Excellent! Only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied. If you feel the need to click either of the two faces/stars on the left, please STOP and reply to me via the "REPLY TO EXPERT or CONTINUE CONVERSATION "button. I want to make sure your experience with the site was as pleasurable as possible and that you are satisfied with the help I provided.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the info...the women who owned it only had a sister who lives in CA, she was contacted, stated she was sorry her sister passed but she wanted nothing to do with her or her with that being said, would our next step be to check with the courts? And if so what exactlty am I going to be asking them?

Probate happens through the courts. With that being said, you need to look up in the court system or speak with the clerk, about who is handling the estate. It would be that person who you could try and contact, to advise that you want to buy the home and see if they would agree to sell it. The purpose of going through the court, is for you to be able to determine who is in charge of the estate and who you need to contact.
LegalKnowledge and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok we will go that route..Thanks so much!!!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok got the info I needed, now another question... the house is owned by a tax lien company who will not release it till at least Oct of this year I asked her if there was anyway we could purchase it before it goes up for auction she stated the only way would be if the sister in CA was the person who received the home, which I am unclear at this time if she does because she wanted nothing to do with her sister, but if thats who the house was left to until it goes up for auction she will still be the leagl owner...correct? And any idea how I can find out who the sister is? Are wills public record? Or would it be on the death cert.? Thanks Melissa

Right now, the home is part of the estate and will stay there until she accepts it. If she does not, it will remain in the estate and the person handled the estate will have to handle it. Your best bet is to contact the attorney, who can likely contact the sister on your behalf, to see if she would agree to accept the home and sell it to you. If not, then you would have to check the court records, for probate, to see if it is contained within.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Any idea how I can find out who the attorney is?

The attorney should be listed in the court file and online. Once you have the name, you can look them up on the Bar website to find their contact information.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So would the tax lien company have that court record? If not where should I contact for the court Record?

You should contact the clerk of court for the probation division, where this would all be filed.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok great! Thanks again!!


Sorry, there was a typo above. PROBATE division NOT probation.