Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hi; My goal is to provide you with great service - if you have any questions during our chat, please ask! I'll do my best to ensure your satisfaction! I am sorry for your recent loss. Can you tell me- how was title to the property held?
Title to the property was held by 3 siblings.
As joint tenants with right of survivorship, or as tenants in common?
Many people aren't sure, until something like this happens.
I'll give you the situation in both cases.
Only one of the siblings lived in the house. The others had not lived their in over 30 years
It was a childhood home, parents are deceased, it was left to the three siblings.
Title is what will be controlling. So, for example, if there is a right of survivorship, the 2 surviving siblings would inherit the deceased siblings share- automatically, as a matter of law. If it was held as tenants in common, the deceased sibling's share would then go to whoever his/her will designates, or via the laws of intestate succession (i.e. next of kin, with spouse and children usually having priority). The squatting child has no legal claim to an ownership interest unless s/he receives it via inheritance (from the deceased parent).
Generally, in situations where 1 co-owner lives in a house and the others do not, fair rental value is determined, and the non-residing owners are paid their respective share of the imputed fair rental value. For families that have a lot of assets, often the one residing co-owner is permitted to stay rent free, as long as they pay for all upkeep, maintenance, taxes, etc.
Since there was no will found, only a copy, does the squatting child have any legal claim to the property?
If the property is held as tenants in common (again, as opposed to right of survivorship), and a will is deemed invalid, then the deceased owner's interest would pass via intestate succession. Let me check on this -it'll take just a moment or two.
For a copy of a will to be admitted to probate, as opposed to the original, the following requirements need to be met:
1. the will was not revoked.
2. the will was properly executed
How would we know if the will was revoked?
3. The will -all provisions- must be clearly and distinctly proven by a minimum of two credible witnesses.
You would need a statement from the decedent stating the intent to revoke. But the thing is - one moment I am still verifying-
under the intestate laws (no will), the child of the deceased inherits everything if there is no spouse. The child of the deceased takes before the siblings have a right. With this being said- please remember - if the title is held as joint tenants with right of survivorship, then the siblings take as a matter of law. If you don't have a copy of the title, it can be obtained from the county recorder's office.
Thank you. XXXXX print these answers?
Yes, there should (you are welcome!) be a save and/or print button when you close the chat.
I'm not familiar with the process as I am an end user myself - but customer service had advised that the above is the way to do it. Otherwise, you can copy and save the chat (cut and paste) into a word doc, and then print it from there.
It is also available by accessing the URL, and the site sends you email links also.
Were you able to see my response to the printing issue?
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