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CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing HOAs, homeowners, businesses and others in real estate matters.
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I am currently living and paying property taxes on my

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Hello, I am currently living and paying property taxes on my family home. My father, grandfather, and uncle were all co-owners of a single family home. They are all deceased now and none of them had a will or left any type of legal notification for my sibling and I to take possession of this property after their deaths. My father has two siblings who are not interested in taking ownership of this home. My deceased uncle had no heirs/children. How do I go about getting the deed to this house transferred to us? I have been paying the property taxes since 2011. Does that make me the legal homeowner? Will we need to go to probate?
Submitted: 2 years ago via LawDepot.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. I would like to assist you today. Responses may have a short delay for review and research.
Yes, the matter should go through probate. As your relatives did not leave wills, their estates will go through "intestate" succession (see:
As you are dealing with multiple decedents, this will require multiple probate actions to be opened. This can get unnecessarily complicated - you will probably benefit from hiring counsel to help you simplify this matter and get you in and out of probate court quickly.
You can find local attorneys using the State Bar Association directory: , or private directories such as;; or (I personally find to be the most user friendly).
If none of the other heirs are interested in the property, they may be willing to sign their interests in the property over to you (they can do this as part of the probate process and you can get ownership in that way).
While paying property taxes on the property is actually one of the keys to owning property by "adverse possession" (very few people actually fulfill this element in gaining property by this mechanism), it is still a difficult way to gain ownership, you must occupy the home openly and "adversely" (so that nobody else can occupy it, and without permission from anyone else with an ownership interest) for 20 years while paying the property taxes. Then, after 20 years, you must file what is called a "quiet title" action in civil court to get clear title to the property.
It is much more efficient to simply go through the probate process and get title to the property now.

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