My mother passed away about two years ago in North Carolina. She and my father owned three houses at the beach in North Carolina. In her will which was filed and probated with the court in NC, she stated that I inherit half the three homes (i'm assuming her interest). Both my father and mother's names are on the deeds to each place. The lawyer who probated the will did not give me my share. My father has refused to change the deed and says that I cannont get the share for each house that was written in her will. Therefore, he has not followed her interests. Do you happen to know what my options are?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
If there is still time you may contest the will, it sounds like something happened that is missin gfrom the facts.
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Medicaid / Medicare Attorney
From your fact summary it appears that your father is still alive. If the deeds list your mother and father as joint tenants with rights of survivorship or husband and wife, the houses aren't probate assets when the first spouse dies. Therefore the Will doesn't apply. They both shared in the title and when the first one dies, the survivor doesn't have to share anymore. It is when the second one dies that the Will of the former survivor comes into play. If they owned the property as tenants in common, which is not a survivorship interest, then your mother's Will does matter. Go to the courthouse, get copies of the deeds and see how title was held.
I agree with Mr. Davis. This may be a property law issue rather than a probate issue. When real estate passes by joint tenancy with right of survivorship, the transfer is by operation of law and contract, rather than through a device or intestate succession (probate).
Thus... when it comes to real estate - the deed will trump a Will. There is a statute of limitations on this, so if you want to pursue, now is the time.
Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, and estate planning in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. The response does not constitute specific legal advice, which would require a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; rather, it is intended to be general legal information based on the limited information provided by the inquirer; it This response also does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established after a conflict of interest evaluation is completed, your case is accepted, and a fee agreement is signed. Johnson Legal Group, PLLC