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Inheritance of Real Estate

Discussion in 'Estate Administration & Probate Court' started by Shamrock1108, Aug 5, 2022 at 3:37 PM.

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  1. Shamrock1108

    Shamrock1108 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    Can a Retaining a Life Estate Quit Claim Deed be challenged. My mother passed in January, 2022 and I found a Quitclaim deed that gave only one of my sisters my parents house when my mother passed. The Quit Claim Deed was filed on 4-17-2012. My dad passed in 2015. There is no will but there are 4 siblings. Looks like my one sister gets the modest house ($222K). Do I have any right to the proceeds from the sale of the house? My siblings will not talk to me. I read online that this type of Quit Claim Deed sits outside the probate process. It appears my one sister is the Grantee in this document and it is a done deal. There does not appear to be a Will. This was the only asset with any value. My other sister was on the banking account for my mother so I assume she was able to keep any money from that account. My sisters cleaned out the house before it was put on sale. I received nothing - they would not let me in the house probably because of the Quit Claim Deed that I was able to find online.

    Just wondering if I have any legal recourse to obtain any inheritance from my parents.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 5, 2022 at 3:47 PM
  2. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    The house is a done deal. It was gifted to your sister while both parents were alive. Now that they have both passed, your sister's ownership is final, written in stone so to speak. So, no, you aren't entitled to any of the sales proceeds.

    As to any other inheritance, whatever your mother owned at the time of her death (except the house) is subject to probate under the laws of intestacy, which is likely to result in a 4 way split.

    Was there a car? Was there a bank account? Were there any personal belongings of significant value?

    Once you determine the answers to those questions you'll have to decide if all that is worth hiring an attorney and going after.
     
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Once the greedy, hungry, angry human buzzards descend, there'll no longer be a there, there!


    Human buzzards feast until every Earthly possession once owned by the dearly departed have been disappeared!!!

    I've seen the critters consuming anything and everything with no regard to the grieving survivors.


    ...
     
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  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure what the words "a Retaining" mean in the context of this sentence, but virtually anything can be challenged.

    "Is no will" or "does not appear to be a [w]ill"? Are you saying that, as far as you know, neither of them had wills?

    She's had "it" for a decade. More precisely, the deed you attached named Jeanie as the remainderman and gave your parents a life estate. Upon the death of both of them, the life estate terminated, and your sister has been the fee simple owner since January.

    You mean your sister's house? If so, no.

    That's really neither right nor wrong. As noted, the decade old deed gave your sister ownership of the Catalpa Avenue property, subject to your parents' life estate. Once that deed was executed and filed, there was no longer any interest that could have passed by either of your parents' estates.

    Agree.

    Any legal recourse to inherit from your father should have been looked into seven years ago -- shortly after he died. If he had no will, then his children should have inherited half of his estate. I'm guessing that what actually happened is that no one did anything to administer the estate and that your mother essentially retained everything. It's probably too late to do anything about that now, but you certainly can consult with a local attorney. Now, you and your siblings are each entitled to 1/4 of your mother's estate (after payment of estate debt). However, the house was transferred before either of them died, so it wasn't part of your father's estate and isn't part of your mother's estate. Likewise, if one of your siblings was a joint owner of or named as a pay-on-death beneficiary of your mother's bank account(s), then that money also is not part of the estate. Since your post indicates that your mother had nothing of value, there is nothing to inherit, but you certainly could seek to probate her estate (even though it seems like it would be a waste of money to do so).
     
  5. Shamrock1108

    Shamrock1108 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Well this pretty much sums up what I thought was going to be the answer. I actually have no idea one way or another if in fact there is a Will. My sisters certainly would not share that information. Same for a checking/savings account. There is probably $40k in there but again no sister will share anything. Same for any life insurance. If I was a named beneficiary I probably would have been notified by the life insurance company. No Will has been filed with the County Clerks office to date. My understanding is in Indiana there is not a legal timeframe to file a Will to go to probate.

    I do agree hiring an attorney is probably just throwing away my money which is not expendable since I recently retired.

    I just needed to hear confirmation that it is what it is, regardless if I feel slighted and disappointed. Life is not always fair.

    Thanks for taking the time to answer my situation. It is greatly appreciated.
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    If you want to pursue that you can go to court and ask to be appointed representative of the estate. That will enable you to get court orders compelling your sisters, or banks, to reveal information.

    Not necessarily. Life insurance companies don't go hunting for beneficiaries. If a claim is not made the money eventually goes to the state treasury as unclaimed funds.

    There are two ways to check if your mother had life insurance.

    This one's free.

    Life Insurance Policy Locator (naic.org)

    This one charges a fee.

    MIB, Inc. - Assistance Finding Lost Life Insurance
     
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  7. Red Kayak

    Red Kayak Well-Known Member

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    Not unless they've been notified of your mother's passing.

    Following Jack's advice can't hurt.

    Your siblings are likely only to follow the recent (usually bigger) policies. In the past week I verified that paperwork for 2 ancient policies that my siblings thought were only of sentimental value were actually real.

    One of the problems is that you parents might have listed each other as beneficiaries. So, if you follow Jack's advice, you should also look for policies your mother might have had listing your father as a beneficiary.

    Non-legal advice: clearly the rift between you and your siblings has been going on for years. Consider the modest size of the estate and the greater effort your sister has put in over the years. She probably has done more than you realize.
     
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