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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Real Estate of Intestate Decedent, No Probate, After 23 Years in California

    X died in 1984. There was no will and apparently no probate. The law firm that handled the matter states that all records were put into storage and subsequently destroyed. The County has no record of probate.

    It has now come to light that X had not disposed of all of her real property during her lifetime as all interested parties had believed. Through oversight on the part of the family members, County Assessor's office, and the law firm, no one realized that a 10' by 300' strip of land had never been disposed of by X.

    Here is how it happened:

    X owned a parcel of land 250' by 300'. In 1959 she gave the western 125' x 300' portion to her daughter B, the deed was executed and notarized, but not recorded until 1982. In 1961 Decedent sold the eastern 115' x 300' portion to her son C, and the deed was recorded at that time. Since 1961, everyone believed and acted as though the 10' strip was a part of the western parcel, and so it is has been shown on the Assessor's map since the 1960's. However, the legal description of the western (nor the eastern) parcel includes the 10' strip. That is still in the estate of the decedent.

    A grand-daughter now owns the western parcel, and has owned an occupied the 10' strip since 1986. How should the estate of the decendent be handled?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,906

    Default Re: Real Estate of Intestate Decedent, No Probate, After 23 Years in California

    What outcome do you want? If everybody is content with the granddaughter taking ownership of the strip, consider either a probate matter in which all heirs consent to that outcome, or an "adverse possession" claim (which may also require opening an estate with notice to all legal heirs).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Real Estate of Intestate Decedent, No Probate, After 23 Years in California

    Aaron, thanks for the response.

    The outcome I want is clear title to the western parcel, with the legal description indicating the 145' width, as shown on the Assessor's map.

    There are 7 surviving grandchildren, 3 who live out of state. It would probably be an amicable situation, but it seems to be rather involved to probate, as opposed to a quiet title action based on adverse possession.

    Why would the estate have to be opened for an adverse possesion claim, and who would do it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,437

    Default Re: Real Estate of Intestate Decedent, No Probate, After 23 Years in California

    You (not everyone else) need your own lawyer.

    Hire a lawyer that is adept at determination of heirship proceedings (which are basically a way to probate an estate and settle title claims all at the same time).

    In any event, ALL the heirs must be involved. And if there are any minors or some of the heirs are deceased, then, of course, you will have an even bigger mess on your hands than you do already.

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