What Happens When Two Siblings Own A Property And One Dies?

What Happens When Two Siblings Own A Property And One Dies

What happens when two siblings own a property and one dies? 

In this article, you’ll learn about: 

  • what happens to the property when one sibling dies
  • the types of ownership structures and how the property gets split
  • what if there was no formal agreement in place
  • what if your sibling had an estate plan in place already

Let’s dig in. 

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What Happens When Two Siblings Own A Property And One Dies?

What happens when two siblings own a property and one dies depends on the ownership structure. 

Let’s look at the different types of ownership that you may have. 

Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship

Joint tenancy with the right of survivorship is a way two siblings can own a property together. 

In this setup, they both have equal shares in the property. 

If one sibling dies, the surviving sibling automatically becomes the sole owner of the property. 

This means the deceased sibling’s share doesn’t go through probate or get divided among heirs. 

Instead, it passes directly to the surviving sibling. 

This can make the transfer of ownership faster and simpler.

Read More: Do All Heirs Have To Agree To Sell Property?

Tenancy in Common

Tenancy in Common is a way for two siblings to own a property together, each having a separate share. 

When one sibling dies, their share doesn’t automatically go to the surviving sibling. 

Instead, the share of the deceased sibling becomes part of their estate. 

If the deceased sibling has a will, it guides who inherits their share. 

If there’s no will, state intestate laws dictate who gets it. 

Often, the share goes to the deceased sibling’s children or other family members. 

The surviving sibling then shares ownership of the property with the new owner or owners of the deceased sibling’s share. 

It’s wise for the siblings to discuss plans and wishes beforehand to avoid surprises and potential disputes.

Read More: Can Someone Sell A House If Your Name Is On The Deed?

Tenancy by the Entirety

Tenancy by the Entirety is a form of property ownership typically reserved for married couples. 

When two siblings own a property as Tenancy by the Entirety, it means they are also married to each other.

This is uncommon and often not legally permitted. 

In this ownership type, the property is viewed as a single legal entity. 

When one spouse dies, the surviving spouse automatically becomes the sole owner of the entire property. 

This happens immediately, without the need for probate or other legal proceedings. 

So, let’s say two siblings are married and own property as Tenancy by the Entirety.

When one sibling dies, the other sibling inherits the whole property.

Read More: What Are My Rights If My Name Is On A Deed?

No Formal Co-Ownership Agreement

When two siblings own a property without a formal co-ownership agreement and one dies, the property doesn’t automatically go to the surviving sibling. 

Instead, the share of the deceased sibling passes according to their will. 

If there’s no will, state laws decide who inherits the share. 

This can be the deceased’s spouse, children, or other relatives. 

In this case, the surviving sibling might end up sharing ownership with someone else. 

It’s important to have a will or co-ownership agreement to make sure the property goes to the intended person.

Read More: How Much Money Can You Inherit Without Paying Taxes On It?

Inheritance Laws

When two siblings own a property and one dies without a will, inheritance laws kick in. 

These laws vary by location. 

If the siblings held the property as joint tenants with right of survivorship, the surviving sibling automatically gets the deceased sibling’s share. 

If they owned it as tenants in common, the deceased sibling’s share doesn’t go to the survivor by default. 

Instead, it gets passed on according to state laws. 

These laws might give the share to the deceased’s children, spouse, or other relatives. 

In some cases, the surviving sibling might still inherit a portion. 

It’s wise to know local laws and plan accordingly.

Read More: Does Your House Have To Be Paid Off To Put It In A Trust

Will and Estate Planning

When two siblings own a property and one dies, a will and estate planning play a critical role. 

If the deceased sibling has a will, it dictates what happens to their share. 

In the will, the sibling might leave their share to the surviving sibling or someone else. 

Without a will, state laws kick in, and the share usually goes to the closest relatives, which may include the surviving sibling. 

It’s essential for both siblings to make wills and keep them updated. 

Estate planning can also involve setting up trusts, which can help avoid probate – a lengthy and costly legal process. 

By putting the property in a trust, the surviving sibling or other beneficiaries can often take over ownership more smoothly. 

It’s also wise to discuss plans with family members to avoid disputes later. 

Proper planning makes the transition easier and clearer for everyone involved.

Read More: Transfer Of Property After Death Without Will

FAQs Related To What Happens When Two Siblings Own A Property And One Dies

Here are other questions clients ask us related to what happens when two siblings own a property and one dies. 

How To Buy Out A Sibling On Shared Property

To buy out a sibling on shared property, follow these steps:

  1. Start with a Discussion: Talk to your sibling. Explain why you want to buy their share, and see if they are willing to sell.
  2. Get the Property Valued: Hire a professional appraiser to determine the current market value of the property.
  3. Agree on a Price: Use the appraisal as a basis to agree on a fair price for your sibling’s share.
  4. Check Your Finances: Ensure you have enough funds or secure financing from a bank or mortgage lender.
  5. Create a Sales Agreement: Work together to draft a sales agreement that outlines the terms of the buyout, including the price and payment plan.
  6. Hire an Attorney or Title Company: Engage an attorney or title company to help with the legal paperwork and to ensure the title is transferred correctly.
  7. Finalize the Transaction: Sign the sales agreement, make the payment to your sibling, and have the title transferred into your name.
  8. Record the Deed: File the new deed with the county recorder’s office to officially document the change in ownership.

Read More: Do You Need A Lawyer To Remove A Name From A Deed?

What Happens When One Sibling Is Living In An Inherited Property And Refuses To Sell?

When one sibling is living in an inherited property and refuses to sell, the other siblings have options. 

First, they can talk to the sibling living in the property to understand the reasons and try to reach an agreement. 

If this doesn’t work, they can seek a legal solution. 

In many cases, a sibling who wants to sell can go to court and request a partition sale. 

This means the court orders the sale of the property, and the proceeds are divided among the siblings. 

Sometimes the court allows the sibling living in the property to buy out the other siblings’ shares instead of selling the property. 

Legal actions can be time-consuming and costly, so it’s often best for siblings to try to work out an agreement among themselves first.

Read More: What Is The Punishment For Taking Money From A Deceased Account?

Mom Left Me The House What Do I Owe My Brothers?

If your mom left you the house in her will, it’s legally yours. 

You don’t owe your brothers anything unless the will says so. 

If the will asks you to share the value of the house, you might need to split it with your brothers. 

Sometimes moms leave instructions outside of the will. 

Check for any. 

Also, think about family relationships. 

Even if you don’t legally owe them, sharing might keep peace in the family. 

It’s good to be clear about what the will says and to communicate openly with your brothers.

Read More: How Much Time After Selling A House Do You Have To Buy A House To Avoid The Tax Penalty?

I Inherited A House How Do I Put It In My Name?

Putting an inherited house in your name involves several steps:

  • Proof of Inheritance: First, you’ll need proof that you’ve inherited the house. This is typically a legal document, like a will, that shows you’re the beneficiary. If there’s no will, the court may need to determine the rightful heir(s) based on local laws of intestacy.
  • Probate Process: If the house is part of an estate that’s going through probate, you’ll need to wait until the probate process is complete. Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased person’s estate and distributing assets to beneficiaries.
  • Death Certificate: Obtain a copy of the deceased’s death certificate. This is usually required to prove to the court and other authorities that the previous owner has passed away.
  • Deed Transfer: Once you’ve proven that you’re the rightful heir and any necessary probate processes are complete, you’ll need to transfer the deed. This is typically done by filing a new deed with the local county recorder’s office or similar authority. You’ll likely need a real estate attorney or other legal professional to prepare the deed. The new deed will show that you are the new owner.
  • Other Documents: Depending on the local requirements, you may also need to file other documents, such as a tax declaration.
  • Taxes: Be aware that inheriting property can have tax implications. You may owe inheritance taxes or estate taxes, depending on your jurisdiction and the value of the property. Consider consulting with a tax professional to understand potential tax implications.

Get Help Transferring Your Siblings Property

If you want help from an estate attorney, fill out the form below. 

At The Hive Law, we understand the importance of:

  • protecting your hard-earned assets 
  • ensuring your family’s future
  • not losing everything to creditors and lawsuits
  • properly (and legally) distributing assets 

We only accommodate a limited number of clients each month.

So don’t miss your opportunity to work with our estate lawyers.

Benefits of our trust services:

  • Tailored solutions to fit your unique needs and goals
  • Expert guidance in navigating complex tax and legal matters
  • Preservation of your wealth for future generations
  • Streamlined asset distribution according to your wishes

Avoid the pitfalls of inadequate estate planning strategies:

  • Creditors seizing your assets
  • Lawsuits jeopardizing your family’s financial security
  • Family disputes over inheritance
  • Costly and time-consuming probate processes

Talk soon.

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