Real estate title mess arises 40 years after homeowners’ deaths

Grandson faces uphill battle to acquire ownership

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DEAR BOB: My grandfather and grandmother died in an auto accident in 1962. Their only child was my mother. When I was a little boy, about age 6, my father died of a heart attack. My mother's parents were killed about six months earlier. She and I moved into her parents' home and I happily grew up there. My mother died a few months ago, still living in that house. I am her only child; she never remarried. According to the county records, title to the house is still in the names of my mother's parents. As far as can be determined, nobody left any wills. I consulted a probate attorney but she said this is too complicated and she didn't want to get involved. The house is worth around $350,000. As I am the "apparent heir" of the house, what should I do? – Ryan G. DEAR RYAN: Your situation shows why real estate titles should be cleared promptly. Your mother should have had her parents' estates probated so she would have held title to the house. That would have made your situation easi...