My mother was deceased 7 years ago my stepfather was deceased 1-11-12 both of their names are listed on the title, and the property is paid off. My stepfather willed the house to his 2 sons. I am my mother's only heir. Don't I have some claim to this property sense my mother owned it too? They are in the state of California and I live in Michigan.
When you say that "both of their names are listed on the title", it becomes very important to know just how their names were listed on the title. If they owned the property as "joint tenants with right of survivorship", which is a kind of "last man standing" means of ownership, then your mom's share became owned by your stepdad upon your mom's death. If, however, they owned the property as "tenants in common", then each one's share of the property would pass through their respective estates upon the death of each.
Even know you're in Michigan, you need to find a California lawyer to advise you. Since California is a community property state, there may be something strictly Californian that you will need to know.
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It will be good to hear from a California lawyer on this. But, I am sorry to inform you, if they owned the property jointly as husband and wife, and she died first, then he probably succeeded to sole individual ownership of the property and was free to will it to his own sons when he died, and not you.
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As a California lawyer, I agree with the above answers. If they held the property in joint tenancy, title would have passed to your stepfather. You need to know if your mother had a will or any estate documents. If it was not in joint tenancy, you have a good argument that it passed to you, in the absence of a will or trust stating otherwise. Consult with an estate attorney in the area where the property is and get the documents and deeds.
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