Property titled in the name of a person who died before 1970

Prior to 1970, real estate passed directly to heirs rather than to the Personal Representative.  Is anyone familiar with mechanics of getting some kind of formal acknowledgement of the heirs' interest?  

I have a guy living on property titled in the name of his mother who died intestate in 1965.  He wants to put a mobile home on the property but he has been refused a permit because the property is not titled in his name. 

I have the feeling that if SDAT listed the property as titled in his name and the names of other heirs, that would do it.  The person I spoke to at SDAT said this could not be done without a deed.  But some number of years ago, SDAT listed the heirs as owners of a lot next door- also previously owned by his mother - despite the absence of a deed. 

It did occur to me that I might be able to do a quit claim deed but my guy doesn't really have money to pay the fees associated with a transfer and if the property passed automatically to the heirs, I am not quite understanding why he should have to go that route.

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