Well, this is why probate needs to be filed when someone passes away. Aside from the fact that the probate helps give access to bank accounts and property in the deceased's name and distribute it, it also distributes non-titled property as the tractor.
Assuming neither had wills, the tractor would
have gone to whoever is entitled to it per the default state laws here
(scroll down to WHO GETS WHAT) and then first apply that to the grandfather, and then to his second wife if she would have gotten the tractor.
NOW, because probate was not filed, the above does not (yet) apply. Technically, one can simply state "this non-titled chattel (item) has been on my land for years and I am claiming possession
of it. Period."
There is not much anyone else can do, except, the second step-daughter would have to file at least one probate (perhaps two) to "trace" the tractor back to her. This would mean a lot of work and legal fees to do so. Unless she does this, she cannot claim the tractor, arguably.
NOTE that if the tractor has a title to it, then someone in your situation may wish to pursue an abandoned title to "solidify" one's claim to it.
I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND
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