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One-half undivided interest

I have quite a unique situation on my hands and am looking for some guidance moving forward.

My girlfriend [Sarah] and I live together in a two family home. This house was willed to Sarah's Grandfather, and his sister, as a one-half undivided interest back in 1963. Sarah's Grandfather passed away several years back and named Sarah as executor of his estate. The sister of Sarah's Grandfather passed away in March of 2017 and her son [Ricky], who had lived with his mother at the time of her passing, is still living upstairs.

Ricky is a middle-aged, unemployed, habitual drug user who has caused nothing but headaches for myself and my family.

We are looking to sell the house and move on from the situation but we are at sort of a standstill.

In doing some deed research we discovered the one-half undivided interest on the property. We have looked on the probate court's website for Ricky's mother's will but there was nothing to be found (we found Sarah's Grandfather's so we knew we were looking in the right place). This means that Ricky's mother did not have a will or he has it and never probated the document(s).

As per the documents that Sarah has and the research that we have done with regards to one-half undivided interest laws in Massachusetts, if Ricky's mother did not have a will stating the [he] be named the executor of her estate or did not have a will at all, than the property falls to Sarah.

How do we go about asking the court to have Ricky probate her will? And if she did not have a will, how do we go about finding that out without asking Ricky and causing any further issues?

Any advice on this messy situation would be greatly appreciated.



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Submitted Wed, 01/24/2018 - 09:12

This is not actually all that uncommon. At first pass, it appears as though Ricky may be the owner of the home. Assuming that Ricky's mother owned the property at the time of her death, it would have passed to Ricky upon her death under the laws of intestacy. This assumes too much and the details matter quite a bit. There are enough moving parts here that I would strongly recommend that you take your paperwork to an attorney and review your family tree, any deeds and leases, and any probate records. The first task will be to determined who the property owner is. Next, and assuming that it is your girlfriend, you will need to devise a plan to clear title in order to sell. This really isn't a do-it-yourself project. You need a good real estate attorney. Please don't hesitate to reach out to my office if you would like to set up a consultation to discuss the specifics of your situation. Christopher Vaughn-Martel, Esq. (617) 357-4898

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