Q: I am one of three siblings. I was living in the home with my mom. She passed this weekend. There is no will. I want to put the house in my name. What do I need to do?

A: I’m so sorry for your loss. There will be some tough days ahead.

Unless you were on the title to the home with your mom as a joint tenant with rights of survivorship, the house will have to go through probate. If you were on title to the house in this manner, upon the death of your mother, you would become the sole owner of the home automatically.

Otherwise, if there is no will telling who is supposed to get the house, then your mom’s assets will be divided according to state law. Typically, that would mean her spouse (if she has one) would get half and her children would get the other half of the estate. If there is no spouse, the children (your siblings) will likely divide the estate between them.

Siblings Share Ownership of House

That means that unless there are other assets you can trade your siblings for their share of the property, it is likely that all three children will have to share ownership of the property. If you then want to buy out your siblings so that you own the property, the three of you will have to decide on an appropriate market price. If you and your siblings agree that you should be the sole owner of the home, all of you can agree to that and you can end up with the title to the home.

Please talk to an estate attorney who can walk you through the process of making this happen.

Published: Oct 24, 2008