Even thirtysomethings need living trusts

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DEAR BOB: My 31-year-old niece died recently without a will. She purchased a condominium about three months ago. Can her mom now sell the condo, or does she have to do something else first? --Georgia Z. DEAR GEORGIA: Unfortunately, because your niece died intestate without a will or a revocable living trust, her condo and other major assets will have to be "probated." That means the local probate court will determine who inherits her assets. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. If her mother is her closest living relative, the state law of intestate succession will probably give the assets to the mother after all debts are paid. Before the mother can sell the condo, she first must receive the title transferred to her name by the probate court. Depending on the state where the condo is located and the local court backlog, this can take six to 12 months, sometimes longer. The mother should consult a local probate attorney. This sad and potentially costly situation could hav...