Property Inheritance question....

My Aunt recently passed away unfortunately and I was her last living relative. Her and her ex-husband were both on title to a property that only she lived in. Do I inherit half the rights to that property?

There is one tricky thing, her supposed husband was a low life and was already married when he married my Aunt. So basically it was an illegal marriage. She is on title to the property under his lastname instead of maiden name. What’s the deal here does this make her place on title void?

I’m no RE attorney but my first thoughts are that this will depend upon exactly how your aunt and her husband held title to the property. If it was as joint tenants with right of survivorship I would suggest the entire property goes to the ex husband. If title was held as tenants in common then her will should determine what happens to her interest in the property. Another consideration is the divorce decree when they separated; did either of them deed their interest in the property to the other as part of that settlement. Again just my 2 cents.

It depends how the property is titled.


saw a case where couple divorced, one remarried, no will. husband died, new wife got half of his half. minor kids got the other half of his half (25% interest). Now new wife is living in house where 25% is controlled by the ex-wife, who is trustee for the minor children.


zachj, a couple of thoughts here:

First, if your Aunt’s “husband” was married but not divorced, he could not legally have been your aunt’s “husband” and their relationship was what the law calls a “meretricious” one at best and he and his legal heirs wouldn’t have as good a claim as you have to her intestate (no last will) estate.

Depending on that state’s community property law, if any, he might be able to prove he owns 1/2 interest, but that would have no effect on your 1/2 from your aunt’s estate.

Secondly, you’ll need to file, or have a lawyer file for you, an Application for Administration on her estate where you are asking the Probate Court to appoint YOU as the Administrator.

Once you are so appointed Admn’r, then you proceed with your
Application and ask the court to find you are the only legal heir and to give you title which you can then sell.

Thanks for all the responses. I have the quit claim deed here… and it has both there names and says “as joints tenants, with quit claim covenants a one-half interest in a certain parcel of land know as…”
Im waiting for title to come in, not sure if it will say something diffferent. I was reported in the newspaper as the last surviving relative. Very doubtful there is a will, but still looking into this. And getting together with a probate judge/attorney end of this week.

So im not sure if the above is the same as joint tenants with right of survivorship or if its tenants in common.

Then again blogger mentions seeing he was not technically her husband as he re-married my aunt illegally somehow(still not legally divorced from previous wife), he therefore wouldn’t have as good of interest to the property due to this. So ill have to look into that further as well.

I think the title overrules a will and intestate law. If the property is titled to the parties as joint tenants, the interpretation may be as joint tenants in the entirety. In this case, upon death of one of the owners, 100% interest in the property is vested to the survivor, regardless of their marital status.

Unrelated parties can still be joint owners. Whether there was an unlawful marriage may have no affect upon the distribution of the entire property to the surviving co-owner.

Let us know what your attorney says.