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Can I sue my sister and brother for 1/3 value of parents home value?

Dayton, OH |

father died in Ohio December, 2009 - no will - no assets - 3 beneficiaries - myself, sister and brother - both whom I am estranged - parents bought house with sister/husband approx 1976 - parents paid half of mortgage until 1996 - could have been longer - not sure - sister made one big improvement - swimming pool - sister/husband paid for it - not sure whose name was on deed during those 20 years - can I sue for 1/3 value of home in 1996? - just for the 20 year period that parents owned half of home

Attorney Answers 2


  1. If I correctly understand your question, years ago your parents, together with your sister and her husband, purchased a home. Since then, your father passed away, intestate. In order to know whether you now own any portion of the real property, one would have to know the two criticial pieces of information that you omitted from your question -- how the house was held (that is, what the deed says) and whther your mother is alive.

    As for suing for a share of the value of the home (valued as of 15 years ago), I cannot even begin to fathom why you would think that just because that is when your parents may have stopped paying half of the mortgage, that somehow property ownership interests are affected.

    Good luck to you.

    Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as legal advice can only be provided in circumstances in which the attorney is able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather appropriate information.


  2. You need to calm down and take a step back. Go to the Assessor's office and see how the deed to the property is held before you jump to any conclusions. If it is in your Sister and her Husband's name, you have no property interest. If it is in their names AND your parents, then maybe you have something. Were they living in the house with your Sister? Where is Mom now?

    Another point, just because you are a child, does not mean the parents are required to leave you an equal share. Often, especially where there are estrangements, parents may choose to divide the estate differently. They may also choose to leave everything to people or groups and not their kids or whatever. This is not to say this is what Dad did but if he had a Will, the choice he made is what will carry. If there was no will, that is different, and presuming Mom predeceased, then the assets would be divided by the children in equal shares. So there is much we need to know before answers can be provided. You really need to find the deed and then determine if you are going forward. You should hire an attorney at least to discuss the choices.

    Use the AVVO.com web site to find an attorney in your area. In addition to that, contact your local bar association for referral to an attorney who specializes in this or talk to friends and neighbors to ask about an attorney they have used and liked. Often, but not always, the attorney will do an initial consultation free of charge. You will then be in a better position to determine what to do next. Best of luck to you!

    If you liked this answer, click on the thumbs up! Thanks. Eliz. C. A. Johnson Post Office Box 8 Danville, California 94526-0008 Legal disclaimer: I do not practice law in any state but California. As such, any responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to a general understanding of law in California and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as legal advice can only be provided in circumstances in which the attorney is able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather appropriate information.

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