The deceased interest

4 Replies

Hello everyone. I am trying to acquire a property, but I have a situation that I need help with.

The situation is a married couple (who had children before they tied the knot) owned a single family home prior to them passing away; and neither the husband, nor the wife had a will. Thus — the property is still in the name of deceased owners.

After some research, I was able to contact the husband's daughter. She wants to sale her father's interest, which she will file the necessary paperwork to transfer his interest into her name. But the problem is the decease wife interest. The daughter states she does not know where the heirs of the wife live; and she hasn't seen at least one of the heirs in over 8 years.

Does anyone have a legal suggestion on what I can do to purchase this property, I cannot locate the deceased wife heirs?


Are you willing to buy just the deceased husband's interest IF you get possession?

If the numbers were right, I'd do it. 

But, you may not know how to resolve this (major) title problem.

Try looking at the deed closely.  MOST married couples own their houses as joint tenants with rights of survivorship or as tenants by the entireties.  If either of those situations exist the one who lived longest inherits everything and the other person gets nothing.  Wills don't change that, but they can spread the last owners interest out among everyone if they were so inclined.  It is different if it was tenants in common.

You can't possibly know what you're buying. I have been told a hundred times that there are only 2 or 3 heirs on a specific deal. Then we end up with 10 to 17 heirs after I get the title commitment.  

In Texas, I would just get a contract with any of the stated heirs and get the contract to your preferred title company so they can research the chain. They will tell you what they need in order to insure title.   

Thanks for the replies everyone. Great news! I was able to locate the wife's heir and we are currently in talks trying to work out the details.

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