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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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Want to sell property. There are no original heirs still

Customer Question

Want to sell property. There are no original heirs still living.Mom was one of these. She passed away 3 months ago. Dad has been paying the taxes on the property since my mom's dad died in '78. Dad is 89. How can the property be sold? Can Dad sell it without Mom? Could we sell it if Dad died?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry to learn of your mother's death, please accept my condolences.

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you exactly what needs to happen here as I do not know what exactly the status of the property's title is (you say that there are "no living heirs" - this describes someone passing away without children (and is not technically a legal term - this is not a term for holding property).

To identify the ownership of the property (who holds title), get a title report, you can find one with the local Parish Recorder's Office (or better yet, pay a small fee for a title insurance company to pull a title report for you. They can find the deed to the property and it will tell you who is the named title owner.

Assuming that the title holder of record is deceased, the property now belongs to their estate. Assuming they passed away without a trust or a will, they have died "intestate" and their estate will be distributed under the rules of intestate succession - see:

This is done in a probate proceeding in court. You do not necessarily require an attorney to do this, but I do recommend it. As you want the property to be sold rather than distributed as an asset - you can request that the court order the property sold as part of the probate proceeding (they will probably do this assuming there is no challenge to the probate proceeding).

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