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real estate beneficiary & waiver of process consent to probate form

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A

AllBrokeUp

Guest
What is the name of your state? new york

my parents aren't alive. my eldest sister(Connie, fictitious name) just died and she never married and had no children. My father told me I was named as a beneficiary of their home in his will. the only remaining sibling is my other older sister(Mary,fake)). my living older sister(Mary) convinced my parents to put the house in her name and my recently deceased sisters name(Connie) about 35 years ago, which i recently found out about. At one point my living sisters(Mary's) daughter was involved in an auto accident where a fatality was involved. to avoid losing the house(then in both of their names) my living sister(Mary) had the house title transferred into my deceased sisters name(Connie). This is what i know so far. today one of my living sisters(Mary) children(my neice) handed me a copy of my deceased sisters will signed september 2000 and a "waiver of process consent to probate" form. When my parents died I was never notified of a reading of the will and received nothing. I thought maybe the house still may legally be passed to me and my remaining sister. I just found out that my neice had her mother(Mary) sign one of the waiver of process forms as well. my neice says she can't sell the house until i sign this form. am i legally entitled to my share of the house ? Why does she need me to sign the form if they had my name removed from the title ? Should I have been notified that my name was removed at any time? am i entitled to half of the house if it was still soley in my deceased sisters name ?

thank you very much for any insights you can provide.
 


Dandy Don

Senior Member
Never sign any document until you have a complete understanding of what it means. If you were to sign this document, this means you could be signing away your right to file an answer or response to your rights in this estate. This would not be the right thing to do, since you want to attend at least one of the probate hearings to find out what you are going to be receiving from Connie's estate (if anything) or at least get your attorney to let the court know that there might be a mixup on the ownership names of the house and that the estate shouldn't be closed until the ownership is officially straightened out.

Is this niece the executor of the estate? Whoever is executor, you need to ask the executor what is the purpose of the waiver or process and see what he/she says. Find out what the executor plans to do with the house--do they intend to sell it or just keep it in the family for now? Heirs need to agree about what they want to do with the house, and if some want to sell it and others want to keep it, the ones who want to sell can force a sale if they want to.

If executor wants to sell the home, then estate must eventually pay to have a title/deed search done to get the ownership transferred to the names of the heirs.

First you need to do some research of your own. What is the value of the home? Contact the county courthouse of the county where the house is located to find out how their records show who the owner is, to see if your name is listed (usually they get their information from official land records) and whether the owners have been paying the property taxes.

If you know the month and year of your father's death, you need to visit the county courthouse probate court to look at the probate file for your father. It will contain the will and other information (financial, real estate, etc.) about how his estate was handled. If there is no indication in the file that your name was added to the title/deed as an official heir, then you will need to investigate to find out why that didn't happen. You may need to pay a few hundred dollars yourself to a local abstract/title company to have an official title/deed search done (which will show a complete history over the past 100 years) of who the owners of that property were, according to legal records. You will be most interested to see if your name was recorded and you will also want to find out if it was legal for the other name changes to have been done (when the house was put in Connie's name), etc. and you may also need to consult with a real estate attorney to find out how to protect your rights to this house.

I am guessing that the niece already is receiving advice from probate attorneys and probably advised her to give you the waiver of consent so that you would sign away your interest in the house. But hopefully, you are smarter than that and you need to consult with a local real estate attorney and/or a probate attorney to find out what steps you should be taking to make sure you get what is coming to you from this house.

It is not very likely that a New York probate attorney will be looking at this message board, so don't wait for a response from here or you may be wasting valuable time.

Yes, as a surviving sibling of your deceased sister, you do deserve half of the home. If your name was removed from the title/deed at any time, yes you SHOULD have been notified, but if relatives or attorney are sneaky/greedy, then they don't feel they were obligated to notify you about anything so that you would remain ignorant of what is going on.


DANDY DON
 
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A

AllBrokeUp

Guest
Many Thanks

Don, Thank You so much for your time and help.
I visited the county clerks ofice, surrogate court and tax assesor's office. I was able to verify what I suspected. thank you for a very quick response and verification. I also discovered many falsehoods along the way. There is no wills anywhere to be found. my parents had no will i found out and their estate has never had any changes made to it. The most recent deed on the house was 1944 and no modifications to it. As soon as my father died the house belonged to me and my 2 sisters. Because the deed is still in my parents name, when my oldest sister died the house now belongs to me and my other sister. My neices and nephews had my sister sign the waiver of process consent to probate form so i guess she lost her half. I never signed anything. Many thanks again.
 

Dandy Don

Senior Member
Just for your own protection, you should still consult with a probate attorney or a real estate attorney to find out if there is anything else you should be doing to make sure no one else has a valid legal claim to the house.
 
A

AllBrokeUp

Guest
Probate Attorney

Don, i have made an appointment to speak with a probate attorney. I'm curious now. How else could someone else have a legal claim to the house ? There wasn't any liens or mortgage listed that I could find at the county clerks office. no record of my parents estate ever being affected some how at the surrogate court. could you let me know of a way a sneeky probate attorney would be able to still cut me out of my share of the house ? I want to bring this to the attention of my attorney. Thanks so much again for your time and legal acumen.
 

Dandy Don

Senior Member
No one can anticipate someone else's 'sneaky' ways.

I just wondered why Mary's niece would be presenting you with a form to sign if they have no interest in the estate. It sounds like you have no knowledge of how Connie's estate is being probated or if she even has enough of an estate. Are you or Mary or the nieces and nephews going to be receiving anything from this estate? Are you absolutely sure that Connie's estate has no interest in the house, even though she is deceased--does her estate have the rights to inherit any portion of this home?
 
A

AllBrokeUp

Guest
House & Estate

Don, I just received a copy of the will in the mail today. My deceased sister had a will drawn up and signed 2 years ago. my neice supposedly took her to a lawyer to have it drawn up but this was not known until now. I had no idea my sister had a will. when i asked my neice at the funeral about my decesased sisters wishes she told me there was no will and really nothing left but the house. My other sister, i'm guessing, knew about this and that's why she went with her daughter(my neice) to a notary and signed the waiver of process form, to hand over her share of the house. in the will it states that my deceased sister is bequeathing her gross estate to the 5 neices and nephews named in the will. Since the title to the house was in our parents names did she have the right to will/pass down her share of the house even though she didn't really own it ? Why did my existing sister have to sign the waiver form if the will states its going to the neices and nephews ? The deed only mentions our parents names. I was going to start the process of having the house title changed to my name and my remaining sisters name. I was beginning to think that the reason the will was in probate now was because the neices and nephews couldn't sell the house because my parents estate is still in effect and they needed me and my other sister to waive our equal shares to the house away so they could sell it. The surrogate court shows no action on my parents estate and the county clerk show the home title hasn't had any changes made to it since 1944. I'm waiting for a call back from their attorney and my neice now to see why they feel I have no share in the house. Since my neice already has a probate attorney do I need a separate one to protect my half or is my half protected by the intestate rule according to the county the home resides in which is my county of residence as well.
Thank you again for all of this information.
 

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