Tangled Title Resolved for an Estate Property

Case Study


Our client was the primary caregiver of his mother for many years. He also maintained her home for a long time and contributed money for its maintenance. As his mother moved through the later stages of life, he moved into the home to assist with the property. Our client’s mother was generally in good health, but he was concerned that she was unable to keep everything in working order.


Our client came to our office years later to find out if probate was required and what tasks should be done. He was confident that probate could be avoided because his name was on the deed. He presented the deed and explained that his mother had placed his name on the deed a number of years prior to her passing.


Unbeknownst to our client, the language used in the deed did not help avoid probate. Rather than transferring the property upon death, the deed created a “tenancy in common”. This type of ownership gave the mother and son each a separate one-half interest in the property. Upon the mother’s passing, her one-half interest moved into her estate rather than into the son’s name. This realization created a great deal of stress for our client. Although the family was obviously well intentioned, they inadvertently created a probate situation for the family.


The big question on our client’s mind was how he could take his mother’s name off the deed. To change the title, the property would have to pass through probate. Fortunately for our client, the mother’s Will specifically devised her share of the property to our client. Because the Will named our client as the proposed Executor, it was his responsibility to resolve the legal matters for the estate, which included the house.


We represented our client for the entire administration process so that the property could be retitled. We assisted our client with obtaining appointment as the estate Executor. Once Letters Testamentary were issued, we drew up a new deed so the property could be correctly titled. Our office also made sure the inheritance tax return was promptly filed and that the early payment discount applied. It was a relief to our client when the property was retitling into his name and the estate was closed.


As a probate law firm for estate executors, we help settle estates efficiently and reduce stress. If you know someone faced with a probate process or roadblocks to an estate property sale, please have them contact us for a free evaluation at:

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Disclaimer: While we’re proud of our past victories, please note that past results are not indicative of future results and each case is unique.