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Boston Estate Planning Lawyer > Blog > (Dis)Inheritance > What Happens Siblings Inherit the Family Home?

What Happens Siblings Inherit the Family Home?

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The Washington Post’s article, “When siblings squabble over an inherited home”, describes one of the most common issues bestowed upon surviving children by a late parent: the home is left behind in equal shares, with one child wanting to keep the property and while the other sibling wants to sell. Fortunately, there are many options for the sibling who seeks to own the property.

The simple solution to this issue is to buyout the sibling seeking to sell. This would mean that the house would need an appraisal and pay the sibling half of the appraised value.

But first, there are considerations to be thought about, for example: how did the mother and father own the house? Was the title held as tenants by the entirety or as joint tenants with survivorship? Or did they hold the home as tenants in common?

If the home was in both parent’s name, it makes the property a probate asset, which needs to officially be passed down to the mother through the father’s probated estate. If the father had a will, a Personal Representative is usually appointed, if not, the court will be required to appoint a PR, usually a child of the parents. Once a PR is chosen, it is only then that the deed will transfer to the mother. If the probate did not take place, the present title of the home will be in a state of limbo, requiring an official probate, though the father may have passed many years ago.

Once the father’s estate has been properly probated, someone must probate the mother’s estate due to the acquisition of the home and becoming the sole owner as she died. If the mother created a will, the PR of the estate can convey the property as directed, but if there wasn’t a will, both children would own the property equally, as tenants in common.

If the above steps have been completed, the title will officially be in both children’s names, allowing one sibling to buyout the other.

If you or a loved one is experiencing this issue, reach out to Fisher Law LLC for a call to action. We can help.

Reference: The Washington Post (April 8, 2011), “When siblings squabble over an inherited home”

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