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My mother passed away in 2001. What is the statute of limitations on pursuing a division of her estate?

Chattanooga, TN |

We were unaware that the law would provide that the heirs would share in the property division at that time but I am afraid that there is a limit of time that we could claim this portion of our inheritance. We are not interested in the bank accounts, only our portion of the property. We are also not interested in forcing the division of the property at this time, only to protect it from opportunistic individuals that might prey on an older person.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

In regard to inheritance and vesting of real property, there is no statute of limitation per se. At the time she passed away, the property vested (subject to claims of creditors) in the devisees of her will or her heirs at law if she had no will. Unless she was married and the property passed to her surviving spouse via tenancy by the entirety or unless there were joint owners that had survivorship interests in the deed, there should have been some evaluation as to whether probate administration was needed at her death. I would advise you consult a probate lawyer in your area that also handles real estate matters so you can determine what ownership interest you have in the property.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER-An attorney can only give you competent legal advice if he or she knows all the facts and is licensed to practice law in the state specific to your question. The comments above are not intended to be legal advice but general comments based on the limited information provided in the question. I am only licensed to practice in the State of Tennessee.

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Asker

Posted

As far as I know, the deed is just a regular deed but all this is excellent information to be aware of. We did see a lawyer at the time but no one mentioned anything about my moms estate and what we should do. We only were there to get durable power of attorney and to protect my father

Asker

Posted

We paid any creditors that were owed immediately so that is a non issue.

Asker

Posted

At issue is a pending wedding to a woman much younger than my father and she has a history of taking inheritance that should belong to others.

Kevin Don Montgomery

Kevin Don Montgomery

Posted

If the deed was just a usual husband and wife deed in both your parent's names, then when she died it passed to your father 100%. It is his to do as he wishes. The impending marriage will affect this situation. Hire a lawyer but your father is the one that is in control. Best of luck

Posted

Assuming there was no will, you can file an Affidavit of Heirship as to ownership of the real property. There is no deadline for doing so. However, if you are concerned that the "older person" may be at risk of financial exploitation, then you should consider other steps to protect that person, such as having an attorney in fact appointed and the name added to bank accounts (as POA only, not as joint owner) and having copies of bank statements sent to the POA or so the POA can gain on-line access to bank account transactions. If the "older person" refuses to appoint an attorney in fact, and is unable to manage her own financial affairs, consider talking to an attorney about possibly creating a conservatorship. This step would be a last resort, but is sometimes necessary to protect elders.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you for your answer. I wish we could have protected my father, however the person he needs to be protected from now has POA over everything.

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