Step Mother Died with Out a "Will" House & Property

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Ryan1994Wright
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Step Mother Died with Out a "Will" House & Property

Post by Ryan1994Wright » 29 May 2017 06:44

Okay first of all here is a quick story to help make sense of my situation.
I am a 23 years old I have lived with my step mother and my dad since 2011 after my real mother passed away in 2010 then my dad passed away in 2014 from Cancer. The thing is that my "step Mother" and my dad were never Married but I always called her my "Step Mom" since I have known her as a mom after my real mom passed away.

I still live in her house she has been passed away for 1 month exactly now, I am the one who took Care of her Cremation, Funeral and i do have a Death Certificate with my name on it, I am trying to Figure out how to take Ownership of the house and property I live in Tucson Arizona I cannot find a Written "Will" or anything anywhere from her (she was always very very Organized) also she has no family left they're all passed away too so I know no Family will take over anything. I have no idea on how to (Or if it's even possible) to get the Property Deed and house into my name, everything here is 100% paid off she is the owner. Only thing needed to be paid is just utilities and yearly Property Taxes is all. I Did see that there was a Property Tax Payment needed so I paid it.


I'm just lost I have no idea what to do, I called my local "County Treasurers Office" and they told me it will go into Probate they were not any help that's all they said even if you pay the taxes it will stop it from going into Probate.... Well Duhh? I know

Info I 'm looking for is

Do I need To Find an Attorney? Or Will A Probate Office hopefully just make me the new owner and put my name on the Deed if I show proof of a Death Certificate? Or is this as Simple as me going down the the Treasurers Office and showing the Death Certificate to them and get everything into my name? I'm not sure how all of this works and what to do. I have never owned a home and land. I just need some help on who to go to and where to go what will happen.

Davis
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Re: Step Mother Died with Out a "Will" House & Property

Post by Davis » 29 May 2017 08:29

Yes, you should find an attorney right away. Your situation is complex, and you should not rely on information from discussion forums for dealing with this situation. Ask friends and relatives for recommendations for an attorney who specializes in settling estates. This will save you a lot of aggravation, stress and expense.
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Peculiar_Investor
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Re: Step Mother Died with Out a "Will" House & Property

Post by Peculiar_Investor » 29 May 2017 08:38

Welcome to FWF and sorry to hear about your recent loss. As our tagline indicates, FWF is a Canadian based discussion forum.
Ryan1994Wright wrote:
29 May 2017 06:44
I am trying to Figure out how to take Ownership of the house and property I live in Tucson Arizona
You might get better information if you posted this in our US based sister forum, www.bogleheads.org/forum.
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Re: Step Mother Died with Out a "Will" House & Property

Post by kcowan » 29 May 2017 10:21

My brother died with a holographic will (hand-written) and left everything to me. I used the same lawyer that had handled Dad's estate. Do you know who handled the title transfer when your Dad died? In my brother's case, the only surprise was that he wanted his ashes buried with our parents. This took a while but the cemetary did eventually approve the burial.

Here is a starting point:
http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/ ... rview.html
Good luck and sorry for your losses.
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Re: Step Mother Died with Out a "Will" House & Property

Post by OhGreatGuru » 30 May 2017 20:21

1. As others have stated, this is a Canadian forum, so you may not find any answers that will help with inheritance law in Arizona.
2. You are likely to need legal or paralegal help to sort this out.
3. Someone may need to go back and research into your father's estate/will, as you are his only surviving child.
4. If your step-mother was "alway very very organized" she may in fact have a will and estate plan somewhere that you just haven't found. Start talking to her bank, and go through her papers to see if she was in contact with any lawyers.
5. It's highly unlikely you can get the property transferred to your name without a court-approved document saying you are entitled to it.
6. Most jurisdictions have state-prescribed procedures that are followed for someone who dies "intestate" (without a will). Do an internet search for "What happens if a person dies intestate in Arizona?" But your status as un-adopted child of a common-law parent may be very murky. Try to find a will that (hopefully) names you as beneficiary.

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Re: Step Mother Died with Out a "Will" House & Property

Post by Thegipper » 01 Jun 2017 17:34

Find a good estate lawyer in Tucson. If the assets are valuable pay up for a good lawyer. The estate in Canada would be distributed according to the intestate legislation. If no off spring it goes back up to her parents if they aren't around it goes to their children. Eventually it finds some relative who gets to share in the estate. I don't think you would qualify as her child under Canadian law. American laws may be a little different. You might search google on Arizona's intestacy laws.

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Re: Step Mother Died with Out a "Will" House & Property

Post by Thegipper » 01 Jun 2017 17:40

there are some good articles on intestate succession in Arizona. If there are no blood relatives what so ever the estates goes to the State of Arizona. Lawyers can be quite innovative. Spend some money on some solid legal advise.

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Re: Step Mother Died with Out a "Will" House & Property

Post by twa2w » 01 Jun 2017 21:27

To the OP
You may want to look for a trust, rather than a will, in your step moms filing. It is common in some US states to use a trust rather than a will to pass on assets.( including Arizona). Trusts in the USA work somewhat differently than Canada and are more commonly used for a number of reasons iclududing taxation and more difficulty in contesting.

Good luck

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