want to sell my mothers house. she died 39 years ago leaving no will. i am a only child
You simply sell it.
Your concern is probably related to facts you didn't include, probably because you don't know that part. When your mother died, I'm guessing you didn't do anything as far as land records go, and the real estate taxes are still in her name. Fixing this omission is very easy - you need proof of her death - a death certificate, or a copy of her obituary, or a copy of the funeral contract, should all work - and the legal description of the property. With that go to the Clerk's Office of the Circuit Court of your locality and ask for help filing a "Real Estate Affidavit" under 64.2-510. Once done that will get 'record title' in your name. (actual title to the property became yours at the moment of her death).
There may be other issues related to the property - it's always good to consult with a lawyer to review your situation.
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Mr. Hart has nailed it on the head. Follow his suggested steps and you should be fine.
Evan Farr is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by NELF (National Elder Law Foundation), which is approved by the American Bar Association, and is a member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys). Evan is licensed to practice law and has offices in Virginia, DC and Maryland. NOTICE - Unless expressly stated otherwise, this communication: (1) is not legal advice absent an existing attorney-client relationship between us; (2) does not create an attorney-client relationship; (3) does not constitute an offer, acceptance, or contract amendment; (4) may contain confidential or legally privileged information protected by the attorney-client relationship and/or work product privilege; (5) is only for the use of the individual to whom it is intended by the sender to be sent, and if you are not such recipient, disclosure, copying, distribution or reliance upon this communication is prohibited; and (6) is not intended, and cannot be used, to avoid tax-related penalties pursuant to treasury department circular 230.
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