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My grandmother deeded her home to my mom in 2008 but my grandmother still lived in the home. My mom died in 2012. Me, my sisters and step father are her heirs. My stepfather never included the property that was deeded to my mother in her estate(he didnt realize he inherited the property once my mom died). My grandmother died this month. My question is if my grandmother had a will leaving the property to her living children does that null out the deed from 2008 and we are not the heirs anymore? Or are we still the heirs and can legally change the locks to safe guard the home without the permission of my grandmothers living children?

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24 minutes ago, Family2016 said:

My grandmother died this month. My question is if my grandmother had a will leaving the property to her living children does that null out the deed from 2008. . . ?

 

No.  Since your grandmother did not own the property at the time of her death, any portion of her will that purported to pass the property to someone else is/was unenforceable/meaningless.

 

 

25 minutes ago, Family2016 said:

Or are we still the heirs and can legally change the locks to safe guard the home without the permission of my grandmothers living children?

 

Nothing in your post suggests that either you or any of your grandmothers living childre have any legal interest in the property.

 

It would be helpful if you answered a few questions:

 

When your grandmother deeded the home to your mother, was it to your mother alone?  Or was it jointly with your stepfather?  How was title vested?  In other words, did it say something like, "Mary Smith grants [description of property] to Susan Smith-Jones, a married woman"?  Or, ". . . to Susan Smith-Jones, as her sole and separate property"?

 

You wrote that you, your sisters, and your stepfather "are [your mother's] heirs."  What exactly do you mean by that?

 

Did your mother have a will?  If so, can you give a general description of how the will disposed of her estate?

 

You wrote that your "stepfather never included the property . . . in her estate."  What did you mean by that?

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When your grandmother deeded the home to your mother, was it to your mother alone?  Or was it jointly with your stepfather?  How was title vested?  In other words, did it say something like, "Mary Smith grants [description of property] to Susan Smith-Jones, a married woman"?  Or, ". . . to Susan Smith-Jones, as her sole and separate property"?

      Its was soley deeded in my mothers name.

      I was told by the courthouse(estate office) that the property did not go thru the proper chanels of titlement bc it was not         listed in my mothers estate. 

      It is a NC General Warranty Deed stating my grandmother as Grantor and my mother as Grantee.

 

You wrote that you, your sisters, and your stepfather "are [your mother's] heirs."  What exactly do you mean by that?

      According to the courthouse(estate office) we are all listed as her heirs in the estate filed.

 

Did your mother have a will?  If so, can you give a general description of how the will disposed of her estate?

     My mother did not have a will.

 

You wrote that your "stepfather never included the property . . . in her estate."  What did you mean by that?

    According to the courthouse(estate office) she said that he never listed the property in the inventory(that is bc he didnt         realize and at the same time was not concerned about the property that was deeded to my mom).

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26 minutes ago, Family2016 said:

When your grandmother deeded the home to your mother, was it to your mother alone?  Or was it jointly with your stepfather?  How was title vested?  In other words, did it say something like, "Mary Smith grants [description of property] to Susan Smith-Jones, a married woman"?  Or, ". . . to Susan Smith-Jones, as her sole and separate property"?

      Its was soley deeded in my mothers name.

      I was told by the courthouse(estate office) that the property did not go thru the proper chanels of titlement bc it was       not  listed in my mothers estate. 

      It is a NC General Warranty Deed stating my grandmother as Grantor and my mother as Grantee.

 

You wrote that you, your sisters, and your stepfather "are [your mother's] heirs."  What exactly do you mean by that?

      According to the courthouse(estate office) we are all listed as her heirs in the estate filed.

 

Did your mother have a will?  If so, can you give a general description of how the will disposed of her estate?

     My mother did not have a will.

 

You wrote that your "stepfather never included the property . . . in her estate."  What did you mean by that?

    According to the courthouse(estate office) she said that he never listed the property in the inventory(that is bc he didnt  realize and at the same time was not concerned about the property that was deeded to my mom).

 

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You didn't answer my question about how title is vested, but it sounds like your stepfather simply failed to deal with the property in probating your mother's estate.

 

Based on my very quick review of North Carolina's intestate law (i.e., the law that says who gets what when someone dies without a will), when a person dies and is survived by a spouse and two or more children (or descendants of those children), the surviving spouse inherits an undivided 1/3 interest in the real property of the estate, with the children receiving the balance.  The spouse also receives the first $60k in value of personal property plus 1/3 of any personal property in excess of $60k, with the children receiving the balance.

 

Your stepfather should consult with a local probate/estate attorney to discuss how best to deal with the situation.  Presumably, probate will need to be reopened so that the property can either be sold or deeded to all of you in accordance with the law.

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You are correct in saying he failed to deal with the property. He was only concerened with the home that they purchased together, in a nutshell he was told about inheriting the property but he was like the hell with it. I know for a fact that he would not open it back up because as far as he is concerend it still belonged to my grandmother.

 

 The children(we) never even received anything for one we were unaware, we understood that bc our mom did not have a will that meant everything went to father, we were destraught after her death. 

 

If he refuses to reopen it is there anything that I can do?

 

I just want to make sure Im legally right when I go to lock up the house to safe guard it until things are figured out.

 

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Your mother's estate owns the house until a court says otherwise. So, if your step father will not reopen the estate, someone else will have to do it to be appointed to be administrator of your mother's estate and dispose of the house under the intestate laws of your state.

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Right now no individuals own the property, her estate, which was created when she died, owns the property. Before anything can be done to the property, it must be probated and distributed or sold and the proceeds distributed according to the state's intestate laws.

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2 hours ago, Family2016 said:

If he refuses to reopen it is there anything that I can do?

 

There should be a mechanism for you to reopen it and have your stepfather replaced and someone else (including you) appointed in his stead.  Consult with a local probate attorney.

 

 

2 hours ago, Family2016 said:
2 hours ago, doucar said:

Your mother's estate owns the house until a court says otherwise.

 

So when you say her estate owns the property, does that mean the 4 of us(her heirs) or is that terminology for the court system?

 

Neither of the above.  The estate is a fictitious entity that stands in as the owner of a deceased person's assets pending distribution.

 

 

2 hours ago, Family2016 said:

So what if its never probated due to stubborness of others?

 

Most property can be distributed without formal probate (which isn't to say that should happen).  However, property that has a title document (e.g., real estate, motor vehicles, etc.) cannot be properly transferred without probate.  You told us that the property is still in your mother's name.  That's fine for a while, but eventually someone is going to want to sell it.  The longer this drags on, the more of a mess it could be to fix it.

 

Note, by the way, that the "stubbornness of others" cannot prevent you from handling this.

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It depends.  If a deed is not recorded it may not be effective against a subsequent buyer of the property who is not aware of the deed.  It may also be ineffective if it is never delivered to the intended new owner.  It may also be ineffective if the intended new owner refuses to accept it (Forinstance, if I want to get rid of a timeshare, I can't simply deed it back to the timeshare company.)  A deed may be ineffective if it is improperly drafted.

 

Enough.  Why don't you describe the situation instead of a hypothetical question?

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I dont know if you have read my earlier post from yesterday but as I am trying to get things together I was just wondering if a person(my grandmothers children) could possibly have another deed other than the one that is recorded at our courthouse? If they do have one but its not recorded is it legal? 

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14 minutes ago, Family2016 said:

What makes a deed legal?

Meaning say if a deed was drawn up and notarized but never recorded at courthouse?

 

Is this your way of saying that the deed by which your grandmother transferred the property to your mother was never recorded?

 

Generally, a deed is effective, as between the grantor and the grantee, upon deliver from the grantor to the grantee.  The recording of the deed is more of a notice mechanism than a prerequisite for the transfer of title to be valid.

 

Compare the following scenarios:

 

1. Alice, an unmarried woman, prepares a deed transferring her home to her friend, Barbara, also an unmarried woman (assume that all of the required formalities are followed).  Barbara visits Alice and Alice shows the deed to Barbara but does not hand it over.  Alice puts the deed in her desk and forgets about it.  A week later, Alice is carelessly playing with a sharp stick and pokes out her eye and dies.  Barbara and Charles, Alice's only child, are going through Alice's personal effects and find the deed in Alice's desk.  Barbara claims that the property belongs to her.  Charles claims the property should be his as a result of Alice's will that leaves her entire estate to Charles.

 

2. Alice prepares and shows Barbara the deed and gives it to Barbara.  Barbara puts the deed in her desk and forgets about it.  A week after Alice's death, Barbara is distraught and carelessly walks in front of a speeding bus and dies.  Charles claims the property should be his as a result of Alice's will.  Debbie, Barbara's only child, claims that the property should be hers as a result of Barbara's will that leaves her entire estate to Debbie.

 

In the first scenario, Charles prevails.  The deed was never delivered by Alice to Barbara, so the property remained Alice's property at the time of her death (note that, if Charles had not been present when the deed was discovered, then Barbara probably would prevail because it would probably be impossible to prove the lack of delivery).  In the second scenario, Debbie prevails because the deed was delivered by Alice to Barbara.  Even though Barbara never recorded the deed, the transfer was effective as between Alice and Barbara.  Therefore Barbara owned it at the time of her death, so it will pass to Debbie.

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2 minutes ago, Family2016 said:

I was just wondering if a person(my grandmothers children) could possibly have another deed other than the one that is recorded at our courthouse? If they do have one but its not recorded is it legal?

 

I don't see the point in considering a hypothetical scenario that probably isn't true.

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33 minutes ago, Family2016 said:

The deed between my grandmother and mother is recorded, it was filed in 2008.

 

Ok.  If there's no other deed on record after that date, then worrying about unlikely hypotheticals won't serve any useful purpose.

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Thank its my biggest downfall.  Its just they way I look at things I always have to be prepared for a what if.

 

One more question, sorry.

Taxes have been paid on the home since my mother passed in 2012 by her brother I assume, the tax bill is still in my mothers name, does this have any bearing on anything? Can he say I paid the taxes so I have a say so as far as deed goes?

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1 hour ago, Family2016 said:

Taxes have been paid on the home since my mother passed in 2012 by her brother I assume, the tax bill is still in my mothers name, does this have any bearing on anything? Can he say I paid the taxes so I have a say so as far as deed goes?

 

He can say anything he likes, and he might have a claim for reimbursement if probate is reopened to deal with this, but the payment of taxes has no bearing on ownership.

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I asked questions a couple of months ago but I have a few more questions if you could assist me.
 

I want to reopen my mothers estate because I was unaware that I maybe entitled to funds being listed as 1 of her 4 heirs, ( me, my step father and two sisters).
Also the home(grandma's home that was deeded to my mom in 2008 and mom died in 2012)) was not listed in my mothers estate inventory by my step dad. What is the likely outcome if I reopen the estate? I am wanting the house to be properly deeded in my name and whatever else I am entitled to. Thanks

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