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Who owns property after death: no will.

West Hartford, CT |

My mother, who recently passed away, was survived by 4 children. one of those 4 children has changed the locks on her house and refuses to allow the other three siblings access to the house. There was no will so this is a intestate situations. We are having a disagreement over who will act as the administrator of her estate. So, who actually owns the house at this time, all of us? Who has the right to access the house and make repairs and other decision in relation to the house. Does one sibling have rights to lock out the other siblings? Does one sibling have the right to make changes to the house without the consent of the others?

We are set to go before a judge, to determine who will be the administrator. Until that time, who owns and/or has rights to the house and other items in her estate?

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Attorney answers 2


No one has the right to do anything on behalf of the estate until officially named as administrator. The estate is the owner of the house, so you as beneficiaries have indirect ownership until the deed is tranferred to the future owner. No one has access to the house until the administrator is named and no repairs can be made. The one sibling can not lock the others out and can not make any changes. You need to discuss these issues with an estates attorney in the area and explore the possibility of an immediate injunction to prevent any further actions from being taken.

When a person dies without a will, then the next of kin must petition the court or go to the register of wills to obtain letters of administration. Once you have received letters of administration, you can then act for the estate. This will allow you to transfer the real estate into your name. You need to retain an estates lawyer to assist you or at least call the register of wills in that county to get more information about their procedures for obtaining letters of administration.


Until an administrator is appointed by the Probate Court, no one has any rights to deal with the assets. Sometimes, when there is disagreement among family members, the Court appoints a temporary administrator, perhaps a lawyer, take charge of estate assets and pay bills until an permanent administrator is appointed. If the siblings can't agree on someone, it might be better to have the Court appoint a third party. You have an excellent Probate Court in West Hartford. I hope that you do well.

Jeffrey L. Crown
Trustlawyer, LLC
21 New Britain Avenue
Rocky Hill, CT 06067


Atty. Crown is licensed to practice law in Connecticut with an office in Rocky Hill. His phone number is 860-257-4330 and his email address is

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