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State: Massachusetts

My uncle owns the house his brother, my father, is living in now. My uncle died about 2 years ago. My father has yet to tell the mortgage co. that my uncle died. My father still makes the payments on time. I can't find the will that states that my uncle left everything to my father. I can't ask my father because he recently had a stroke and now is unable to speak. If I tell the mortgage co about the death of the owner of the house, which is my uncle,

"What would happen?"

Without a will, who would be the heir to my uncle's properties?

In your opinion, What should I do besides consult a lawyer?


Senior Member
Sorry, I know most people hate to consult with lawyers but if your father had done so when your uncle died things would have been a lot less complicated and far less expensive. And regardless, until a lawyer handles the administration of the estate there will not be anyone with good clear title to the property.

Let's assume that your uncle held title in his own name, and withno one else listed on the deed. The issue is who eventually will own the house, not whether you tell the bank. That will depend on the family tree and in the absence of any spouse, this is what the Mass Laws say:

Chapter 190: Section 3. Descent of land, tenements or hereditaments.

Section 3. When a person dies seized of land, tenements or hereditaments, or of any right thereto, or entitled to any interest therein, in fee simple or for the life of another, not having lawfully devised the same, they shall descend, subject to his debts and to the rights of the husband or wife and minor children of the deceased as provided in this and in the two preceding chapters and in chapter one hundred and ninety-six, as follows:

(1) In equal shares to his children and to the issue of any deceased child by right of representation; and if there is no surviving child of the intestate then to all his other lineal descendants. If all such descendants are in the same degree of kindred to the intestate, they shall share the estate equally; otherwise, they shall take according to the right of representation.

(2) If he leaves no issue, in equal shares to his father and mother.

(3) If he leaves no issue and no mother, to his father.

(4) If he leaves no issue and no father, to his mother.

(5) If he leaves no issue and no father or mother, to his brothers and sisters and to the issue of any deceased brother or sister by right of representation; and, if there is no surviving brother or sister of the intestate, to all the issue of his deceased brothers and sisters. If all such issue are in the same degree of kindred to the intestate, they shall share the estate equally, otherwise, according to the right of representation.


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