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I am to inherit a house with my sibling when my dad passes away.

Lincoln Park, NJ |

I want to liquidate the home and sell, but my sibling doesn't. She can't afford to buy me out, and refuses to leave and is not paying any rent or bills. I know I have to evict her, but will I end up losing all my inheritance doing this? I need to have a plan in place in advance of this situation, and want to be proactive and plan for it now. What are my rights? I really need guidance.

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Attorney answers 3


If your father has not passed and the house is in his name, regardless of what the will states nothing can be done unless you are your father's agent under a POA and even then you need to have an attorney review it as to options. When your father does pass, if he is still the owner, and the will leaves the house to each of you, and she was living there when he died by his invitation, she cannot be evicted. You would, if you are the executor, have an attorney file a petition to eject her and legally so long as she cooperates with showing to prospective purchasers it she does not have move, pay any utilities etc....As to unpaid bills while living there when her name is not on the deed, you dad would have to file to eject her. Of course, if she can be convinced to sign a lease and then she breaches you could proceed in landlord/tenant court instead which is a lot cheaper. If your names are already on the deed, you may be able to file to Partition the property and force the sale. Once the house is sold, if done when your dad passes, the net proceeds would pass via the will. So you need to have an attorney review all documents to discuss what should happen and what steps to take now and in the future.

Lawrence A Friedman

Lawrence A Friedman


It would be worthwhile to get a consult now to learn options and consequences. Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.


Once the house is in the name of you and your sister after your father passes away, you can petition the court to partition the property. Since the court can't divide the house in two, it will need to be sold and the cash will be divided.


I agree with my colleagues that this is going to be a messy situation. If your father is still living, there may be other options that would make better sense. You should visit with a lawyer to see what the best option would be for dealing with this.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** 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. I hope you our answer helpful!

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