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A home left to several siblings in survivorship deed. How do sell out rights work?

New York, NY |

Can a sibling sell out if they want to get out of ownership with siblings of a home left to them in a survivorship deed? What are the rights of a sibling that wants out of the owner ship?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

You all have equal rights, depending on how the deed was set up. If everyone agrees on what to do, it is not so bad. But if even one person refuses, then the situation becomes more complex. You can file an action in court to partition the property, but these are siblings and going to court not only costs time and money, but would also affect family relationships, so it is never the kind of thing to take lightly.

I would suggest that you set up a family meeting and try to work this out so that you can gracefully bow out and get compensated for your share. Determining the fair market value would then be your next issue. This can either be based on tax value, an appraised value, or an agreed upon value by the parties.

James Frederick

*** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.

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2 comments

James Marston Brown

James Marston Brown

Posted

I agree with Mr. Frederick. In addition, it sounds like this is a deed to you and your siblings as "joint tenants with right of survivorship." Under this kind of deed you all have an equal ownership interest in the land but upon the death of any joint tenant, the deceased's share goes to the surviviing joint tenants, rather than to the heirs of the deceased. This is very different from other joint ownerships in which the deceased's interest passes under his will or to his heirs. While I agree with the suggestion of a family meeting, I think it would be a good idea to first consult a lawyer to confirm the exact nature of the deed and also what your potential remedies are in case of a disagreement. The rules about real estate transactions vary from state to state and unless you go into any family meeting with a knowledge of the particular law in your state, you could be at a disadvantage.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

I agree with you, James. You should post your answer and get credit for the points. Your suggestion to meet with an attorney is an excellent one. I have also occasionally had entire families come in to figure out "what they have." That has worked well.

Posted

These situations are never really practical or workable arrangements. Try to work it out in a face to face meeting with all parties. If this fails then you must bring a partition action to resolve this mess.

Hope this helps.

Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336, his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website www.sjfpc.com. and blog

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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