My stepfather's name is on the deed of the house that he and my mother lived in. My mother recently passed away without a will. They had a daughter together. The daughter claims that she owns everything, even though my mother has four other children by a previous marriage. The house is occupied by my stepsister. who has ownership to the house.
o My stepfather's name is on the deed of the house that he and my mother lived in....If his is the sole name on the house and he is alive, then he owns the house. If he died prior to your mother, then on his death the house should have been transferred as directed under his will, or by state law (laws of intestacy) if he did not have a will. o My mother recently passed away without a will... As noted above the laws of intestacy, which vary from state to state, will govern what happens. If the house were owned jointly with your stepfather and mother (your question wasn't clear if he is alive or if there were names on the deed other than his) the house would have passed to him. o They had a daughter together. The daughter claims that she owns everything, even though my mother has four other children by a previous marriage... She can claim whatever she wants, but it is not her claims that determine who is entitled to the assets. First, the title (ownership) of assets has to be considered. For example, if there were other names on the deed to the house, that would govern. If your stepfather died first and under state law your mother should have obtained ownership to the house, the fact that the deed was not updated to reflect this should not change the result. If that was the case (again your facts were not clear) then the house may have been your mothers. If that is correct then your mother's heirs at law (since she had no will), which would include you but not your stepfather's daughter (assuming your mother never adopted her) would be the owners. The house is occupied by my stepsister, who has ownership to the house...The fact that your stepsister lives in the house should not impact the determination of who owns the house. However, your last phrase indicate she owns the house. This seems inconsistent with the other comments above. You should consult with a real estate and/or probate attorney in your state and get this sorted out. Be careful that there could be strict time deadlines that may affect your rights.
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