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Rights to the family home

Tarzana, CA |

Mother passed away in 1995 and left a home to my father and 4 daughters. The house is being rented and my father keeps the money for himself we want to sell the house and he leased it with option to buy how can we get our money

The home was in my mother and fathers name. They divorced but she remained on title. When she got sick she made a living trust and appointed her brother as executor. In her will she left her rights to the home to the 4 girls. My father moved out 8 years ago and rented the home with lease option to buy. 4 years ago he said he sold the house and asked us to have my mothers name signed off title so we did. He had the mans name put on title and still never sold the home. What are our rights to the home.

Attorney Answers 3


Your question is missing the key information regarding how title to the house was held before your mother died, and what you mean by "left the home to my father and 4 daughters".

Was there a will? Was there a probate? Was there a living trust?

How is title to the house currently vested?

You will need to ascertain the answers to the above questions before a real estate attorney can advise you of what the daughters have, and what the daughters might be able to do.

Frank W. Chen is licensed to practice law in the State of California. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.

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The Title of the house was in mother and fathers name they were separated. In her will she left her part to the 4 daughters. 3 years ago my father said to sign off the home cause he sold it and it never happened. now my father and the name of the person who lives there with lease option to buy name is on the title. What are our rights to the home now


As noted this question is not well worded and the answer is not simple.

You mention three things-- the deed, which seems to have had the deceased’s name on ot so IF An affidavit of Death of Joint Tenant was filed, the title is in dad’s name.

Then you mention a will AND a trust. There is no way to know if either was current or valid at the time of death.

If the house is being leased on lease option the title would still be in the name of (apparently) Dad. IF the option holder were smart they would have recorded the lease option—but probably did not.

Emotionally this is a snake pit. Is the money worth it?

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Edna Carroll Straus

Edna Carroll Straus


You can research title, but not on line in LA County. Looking on Zillow will give you some data. Otherwise you must actually search physically at the County Recorder downtown or in Norwalk.


In one sentence you say the home was left to your father and four daughters. Then in another you state a will left the home to the four daughters. Do you have a copy of the will? Has the will been filed with Probate?”

You mention when mother got sick she made a living trust. Are there any issues with capacity since she made the trust when she was sick? What has the executor of the trust been doing?
There are many questions that need to be answered before an informed response can be given. Contact an attorney in your area and let them review the paperwork that you have.

Note this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on. Each situation is fact specific and court specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship

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