Question by : HELP?!?! Virginia/General Law regarding death and estate..?
My husbands mother passed away 4 years ago. During that time, she was dating (not married) to a guy that was living with her in the home that had been in the family for 3+ generations. We pulled the deed from public records and she had added him to the deed as a joint tenant with no survivor-ship clause. He was an old guy and we had spoke to our lawyer. My husband felt bad and didn’t try to buy this guy out because he would have no where else to go. Long story short. He passed away 2 days ago. His long-lost sister showed up and deputies gave her temporary rights over the home (AKA keys). We know that he had a daughter or two that he had no contact with. Neither party had a will.
My husband has filed to become executor of his mothers half of the estate, but this guy has no one and she can’t do much until autopsy and death certificate comes back from the ME. What do I need to do to get the keys back from this woman who had never set foot in this home until 2 days ago??? Now she wants to sale the home and split the money. CAN SHE DO THAT???? I don’t know Virginia law.. and I have an appt with an attorney, but I kinda need to know whats going on. PLEASE if you need any more info I will provide. PLEASE HELP…
Answer by wizjp
well. Nothing without an order from the probate court.
Tenants in common or joint tenants with no right of survivorship in VA means equal right to the property for the heirs. Hubby will have to get lists of heirs filed with the probate court, qualify as executor of estate, then get the probate court to award him some right to jurisdiction over the property. AND since you are all equal owners, this is headed for a family fight and a sale and partition before it’s all over IMHO. Selling and splitting in other words; or you folks buying her out, assuming there aren’t debts and mortgages tied to the property
Lengthy nasty and probably expensive.
I’d preempt some of the mess and hire a good local probate lawyer
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