Step kids with unclaimed interest in property?

5 Replies

I have the opportunity to purchase a property at a steep discount but there is one potential issue I am unsure about.  The woman I will be purchasing from says her ex husbands kids are claiming to have an interest in the property.  Here is a scenario of what happened in the past:

Mr. and Mrs. Smith bought this property

Mr. and Mrs. Smith got divorced and did nothing with the property at the divorce

Mr. Smith dies

Mrs. Smith takes death certificate to county to have property changed to her name as sole owner

Mrs. Smith would like to sell to me but says Mr. Smiths children are telling her they have an interest in the property.

If Mrs. Smith sells me this property would there be issues for her if Mr. Smiths children do in fact have an interest in the property?

Will there be issues for me if I buy the property and this is the case?  What about if I purchase title insurance?

I am thinking that if she sells me the property, any unclaimed interests in the property would then become my problem as the property owner.  But if I have title insurance this should eliminate that risk for me.  Am I right?

I will be speaking with a lawyer about this but just wanted to get as many opinions as I can.

A good title company should be able to sort all of that for you. I would move forward with getting that going. If they do have a claim and they don't want to sell at that price then you may not be able to buy it. 

Sounds like the divorce severed the h&w tenancy resulting in 50/50 tenants in common ownership.

Dead ex-husband’s heirs own 50%.

If you aren’t negotiating with the estate or the heirs as well as the ex-wife, this is pointless.

Had a title search done and step kids do in fact have an interest in the property.

@Joe P.   So what is your plan? Are you going to try to work things out with the step kids?

I simply told the ex wife is she could work things out with them I'd still be willing to purchase the property at the price I offered.  I believe it would need to go through the probate process first though.

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