If a homeowner never creates a will what happens to his/her home?
As fundamental as the question is, it really IS a good question.
Since the house doesn't "know" or care that it's owner is deceased, it's up to others who have an interest to deal with it.
Contrary to common belief, properties are not automatically probated through court to establish legal ownership.
The real estate will remain but the house will deteriorate.
If in a remote location, nature will eventually take it back. If in a city or suburbs, code enforcement will likely deal with it if it doesn't go to tax sale or the public administrator (or equivalent) marshals control.
What typically happens, however is that someone sees economic value. That may be an heir or a creditor of the decedent, like a mortgage lender.
Contrary to what people think, people die all the time without heirs taking any direct interest in the property. Sometimes, in places with high density population like Los Angeles, where property values are relatively high, people hunt for vacant, abandoned houses with lots or equity and either try to find the living owner or their legal heirs. Others buy the mortgage and get title that way. And still others find ways to obtain title by other legal means.
would these types of homes still appear on a list of leads? if not then how would I go about searching for properties where there is no actual living heir included in the will @Rick Harmon ?
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