How Will My Grandparents’ Estate Be Divided?

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My grandfather died in 1999 and my grandmother died in 2006. They owned 2.12 acres in a small town that was undeveloped land, and they also owned a house and land in Heber Springs. My uncle started the probate process and then passed away in 2008. My mother and aunt are still living. My question is whether my cousins get a say in what happens to the land and house now? I have been living in the home since 2011. I have been paying taxes since 2008 and I am trying to get a title to the house. Can I do this without involving the cousins since my uncle died after my grandparents?

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

You left out some information, most critically what did your grandparents’ wills say? Assuming, however, that your grandparents left the properties to
their children (your mother, uncle, and aunt), here’s what’s most likely to happen. Someone will have to take over for your uncle and finish your
grandparents’ probate. The share that would have gone to your uncle will then be distributed along with the rest of his estate, most likely to his children (I presume these are the cousins you’re referring to). This could mean that the property ends up, in unequal shares, owned by several people. One way to avoid this is for the family members to get together and agree on who will buy the other ones out.

Where does this leave you? Well, unless you are named in your grandparents’ will, you probably don’t have any direct interest in the property (your mom does). If you can’t get the relevant family members to agree to let you have or buy the property, then you would be entitled to get reimbursed for the taxes you paid, less the rental value you haven’t.

If you have a family that gets along well, you can probably work this all out without too much trouble. If not, I would suggest looking into mediation.



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Author: House Attorney