Can property not placed in a will be contested if another heirs name was also on the deed.

Asked almost 4 years ago - Albany, NY

My father placed another siblings name on the deed with his on his residence for convenience. His intention publicly was always for that sibling to buy out the other siblings upon his death. The property is not in the will or trust. The sibling now wants to keep the house without buying out the other two. Is there a legal basis to fight this? Probate?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Paul Stephen Johnson

    Contributor Level 14

    Answered . You don't say if the other sibling was placed on the deed as a tenant in common or as a joint tenant, with rights of survivorship. If the first, the sibling would only obtain half outright; if the second, the sibling would inherit it all, without the necessity of probate.

    To prevent this may be difficult or expensive. It would be similar to contesting a will - proving that this was not a gift due to lack of capacity or undue influence, for example. It would be useful if there is something in writing indicating that. You are going to have to consult an estates attorney for guidance.

  2. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . I partially agree with the prior attorney. My only point of disagreement is that you may be able to argue that the house was held in constructive trust for all siblings. As a result, he needs to transfer the parts held in trust to the two of you or he must buy you out. This really becomes a matter of evidence and proof, so if you have documentation or other support for this position you may have a shot here. This will be expensive and time consuming and devisive so be prepared. This is the reason that these type of arrangements are not recommended.

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