Big Facts About Family Owned Real Estate
Intergenerational ownership- Most families owning real estate over generations maintain ownership through inheritance- meaning the ownership is transferring to family member to family member as family member owners pass away.
Spouses and Descendants (children, grandchildren, etc.) typically are first in line for real estate transfers- most people leaving real estate at death to family members through a will provide for the real estate to go to their spouse or children or both. Most Americans do not have wills and so state law informs of who their real estate transfers to. HeirShares has looked at the state laws in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and all of them consider spouses and descendants first in priority to receive any interest in real estate before others.
HeirShares Tree Builder Asks About Spouses and Children a Lot!
We do! Just know that for every deceased family member in a family tree, you will likely have to answer some questions about spouses and descendants. This is because its very standard for them to be first in line to inherit regardless of whether they were a good spouse or child, an estranged spouse or a child born to parents who weren't married, etc.
We even want to know about spouses and children for living members of the tree who are identified as current owners. It is important information to know for building strategies to maintain ownership of your family real estate going forward. For example, spouses have to sign all deeds involving their owner spouse because they have a legal right to a future interest. Any transfers an owner spouse makes impacts the non-owner spouse's legal rights. So, they must consent.
How Do I Find Information About Deceased Family Tree Members' Spouses and Children?
- Ask your family
- Look at your family's family tree (the traditional kind)
- Search online through genealogy websites, obituaries, and a plain old search engine search
- Look at information on vital records (birth, death certificates, and marriage certificates)
- Do a party search in the local vital records office*
- Hire a genealogist
*Unlike searching for a good time, a party search of records is where you search a database by a person's name and the type of role you're seeking information on. For example, you could search a man's name and father (role) in vital records to try to determine all of the birth certificates he is listed on as a father.
One of the main reasons we build HeirShares is to facilitate crowdsourcing information. Crowdsourcing is gathering lots of information with a group of people. It's so powerful! Our app allows you to add users so that they too can contribute to building your HeirShares family tree. You can invite family members and service providers such as your attorney and a genealogist.