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Deed not properly distributed during probate 5 years ago

Concord, CA |

My grandmothers home was left to 3 of her daughters. During probate ONLY one of the three daughters names was put on the deed unbeknownst to the third sister. My grandmother passed 5 years ago. Is it too late to do anything?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. If the name was changed in violation of a Court Order (for example a Probate Order on Final Distribution), then you would have a claim, probably for fraud. The statute of limitations issue ("is it too late?") depends upon when you discovered the fraud. There is what is called "equitable tolling" (a suspension of time) for the period of time the fraud was unknown or concealed to the victims.

    This is legal information only and not meant to provide legal advice. Many issues that seem straightforward at first are often complicated by facts not revealed in a hypothetical posed by a member of the public. You should always consult directly with your attorney in order to ensure the issue is thoroughly discussed and that the proper course of action is taken.


  2. The time to do something is dependent upon a number of factors such as when did you discover this, was it done fraudulently and what were the orders of the probate court. But, you need to do something quickly or else you wil have run out of time.


  3. I agree with my colleagues. You may need to reopen the probate estate in order to object to what was done. You will need to consult a probate attorney, right away, to make sure that you proceed properly.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  4. The other attorneys are correct. Sit with an attorney, look at the title and the Petition for Final Distribution. Usually a representative cannot be discharged without documentation that the deed was properly recorded. There may be fraud claims and other issues, but don't wait. Know that you know the clock is ticking.


  5. Again, information still missing. How was a deed prepared during probate. No authority. Title is transferred by the order of final distribution upon Petition. That would have required notice. If you got notice and didnt speak up, depending on the amount of time, you may have lost your rights. If you never got notice, the order may have been procured by fraud. Again, timing is an issue. YOU NEED TO CONTACT a probate attorney and review the probate court file to determine what happened, what was represented and when.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.

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