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Grandparents had OH real estate that was never listed in either's estate. To distibute assets must both estates be reopen?

Cleveland, OH |

Grandparents owned 15 acres of land in Oh. Granddad sold his undivided 1/2 interest and grandmom signed away her dower rights. She never relinquished her 1/2 interest. She died in 1984 without a will/ estate was discharged - full admin and "all real estate" inherited by granddad however this property was not listed as an asset. Granddad died in 1994 with a will /full admin and said property was again not listed as an asset. Discovered this while researching royalty payments received by my mom's estate. Payments are being received by the descendents of my grandmom. Do I re-open the estate of grandmom & apply statue of descent and distribution as granddad is dead, or do both estates need to be re-opened? Per title search current deed is incorrect/Grandmom's name not listed.

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Attorney answers 3


I would have a lawyer take a look at this to determine if things are as you suspect them to be. Whether you need to re-open the estates depends on what the documents provided and how the property was titled. You also indicated that your grandfather sold the property. That would need to be reviewed to make sure that FULL title was not transferred instead of 50% like you believe.

James Frederick

*** 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'm not quite following your facts. What "current deed" is incorrect? Who appears to actually own your grandmother's undivided half interest? Was it a professional title search? Did granddad and grandmom have different heirs? Are you sure there was no "Certificate of Transfer" issued by Probate Court?

I would take this to a real estate title expert in the county where the property is located to determine if there is, in fact, a gap in chain of title and get title counsel's advice on how to cure. It is certainly possible that both states will need to be re-opened ... and that, depending on the value of the land, an Ohio Estate Tax return may need to be filed or amended, complete with penalties and interest.

Mr. Huddleston is an Ohio-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, with offices in Columbus and Dayton, serving client families and private business owners throughout Ohio. He may be contacted directly by phone toll-free at 888.488.7878 or by email CLH@HUDDLAW.COM. Mr. Huddleston responds to Avvo questions as a public service to help educate and provide general guidance to questioners, but his responses are not legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship.


If you grandmother owned a 1/2 interest in the real estate at her death and the property was not disposed of in her estate, then the estate will have to be reopened for the property to be distrbuted to the proper heir.

This information is not intended, and should not be construed, as legal advice. I encourage those with questions to consult an attorney of their choice for guidance.

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