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In 1934 my mother's first husband was killed in a horrible…

Good morning, Pearl....

Good morning, Pearl. in 1934 my mother's first husband was killed in a horrible auto accident. He was immediately buried. my mother was deeded a large lot having 8 plots and her first husband is the only person buried there. It is located in Alamance Co., NC. Her only son with her first husband, my half brother, is nearing death. He lives in Calif., with several children and divorced. Following his death, who owns the remaining plots? Me and my siblings or the children of my half-brother and his divorced wife? your time and consideration is much appreciated. Charles E. Cheek

Lawyer's Assistant: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?

Although I have no deed, it is recorded at the cemetery office that our mother was the purchaser. Would that be sufficient? Also, would the deed be recorded with the county's registrar of deeds???

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

My half brother's x wife believes she owns it. she wants to sell it or give it to her son who would probably sell it. doesn't ownership go to the children of the purchaser, which would be me and my siblings from her second marriage?.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Alamance Co., North Carolina

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Answered in 16 minutes by:
3/26/2018
Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31,953
Experience: Lawyer.
Verified

Hi,

My name is ***** ***** I'd be happy to answer your questions today.

Is your mother still alive? Does she (or did she) have a will?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
My mother is died in 1982. She had a will with no mention of her first husband's cemetery lot.

Okay, thank you.

When your mother passed without a living spouse, the property legally would go to all of her children, to be split equally. If no one ever went to court, you'd want to go to probate to get a new deed that says you're all the legal owners. Who gets the property when any one child dies is going to depend on how it's titled. If you're all joint tenants, his share gets split amongst the other owners. If you're all tenants in common, then it would go to his heirs.

That creates a bit of a problem, because right now, it's not in anyone's name. The default would usually be joint tenants in this scenario.

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Either way, though, a former spouse doesn't have any right to inherit. There's no scenario where she would get any part of the property, unless she won it in the divorce. That would be unusual, partially because the property wasn't in your half-brother's name when they split up. But she doesn't have any claim to the property unless she has a divorce decree saying she does.

Even a will wouldn't be effective if your half-brother signed it before the divorce, because a divorce nullifies a clause in a will leaving assets to the former spouse.

Lucy, Esq.
Lucy, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31,953
Experience: Lawyer.
Verified
Lucy, Esq. and 87 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Your detailed and prompt response is much appreciated. It is presumed we are all joint tenants. Does that mean after my half brother dies his children have rights to the burial plot?

No, with joint tenants, when one does, the others immediately become the sole owners of the property. So, if there are 5 owners total, each with a 20% interest, when one of them dies, you suddenly are have a 25% interest.

His children would only share his interest if the property were owned as tenants in common by all of you.

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Sorry, I mean, when one joint owner dies, the others take his interest.

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Lucy, Esq.
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Satisfied Customers: 31,953
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