Mother died without a will

10 Replies

Dear Bigger Pockets ,

I have a question that I seriously need help with:

About 8 years ago my Mother past. She owned a house. She have six children( which are my siblings) and was not married.  Shortly after, my mother's death we went to a local attorney and all sibling agreed to have  a deed drawn up giving one of my brothers a life estate in the property. However, my brother who has the life estate is unable to afford proper maintenance on the property, due to the fact that he only receives a disability SSI check once a month. The house is steadily deteriorating, plus one of my siblings ,whom refuses to work, has 3 children living in the house,  and one of the other siblings has one grown child living in the house,and has NO income, to assist my disabled brother, in the upkeep of the property etc. I have purchased a smaller house for my disabled brother, which he can easily manage to rent from me, with me providing all the upkeep and maintenance on the house(which will be a rental for him). My question is , How can I get it arranged to have me or either of my siblings, to  purchase the property to whomever is willing and able to buy it, whether it be me or either of my siblings? How do I go about having this done? Please help

Yuck. Sounds messy. 

Is Brother's name on the title (meaning, was a deed transferring house put in his name and recorded at the county recorder)?  

If yes, you'd need to show a copy if the recorded deed in order to determine how the "life estate" was treated.  It may be necessary to have Brother sign off his interests as to his Life Estate to Buyers.

If property is otherwise Free & Clear, you could give him a Note (really just an IOU) for any amount, price and/or terms with payments that are mutually agreeable. The Note can be secured with a Mortgage (or Trust Deed) on the property.

I suggest talking to a title insurance company or real estate settlement attorney to help walk you thru the paperwork.

If you have a situation different than I've described, all bets are off. 

You say you all agreed to give your brother a life estate. Did all of you retain the remainderman interest. Other words do you all own the property? One thing you can do is have your brother who through his life estate has the right to occupy the property lease out the property. The other deadbeats living there do not have the right of possession and can be tossed out.  The rental income to your brother will help repair the house and give him some income. The other owners don't like it they can buy him out.

Originally posted by @Rick Harmon:

Yuck. Sounds messy. 

Is Brother's name on the title (meaning, was a deed transferring house put in his name and recorded at the county recorder)?  

If yes, you'd need to show a copy if the recorded deed in order to determine how the "life estate" was treated.  It may be necessary to have Brother sign off his interests as to his Life Estate to Buyers.

If property is otherwise Free & Clear, you could give him a Note (really just an IOU) for any amount, price and/or terms with payments that are mutually agreeable. The Note can be secured with a Mortgage (or Trust Deed) on the property.

I suggest talking to a title insurance company or real estate settlement attorney to help walk you thru the paperwork.

If you have a situation different than I've described, all bets are off. 

Rick,

Yeah, it's really messy. The deed we had drawn up is. titled: Warranty Deed, Joint Tenants of Survivorship. It goes on to indicate in the Deed :"That in consideration and $5.00, the undersigned grantors(Being me and 4 siblings, grant the property to-wit: Subject to a life estate in the above described  property which is hereby reserved for the grantor ( Mr.J.R.S my disabled sibling's initials)"

To make my question simple: How Do I go about having my other siblings name removed off of the deed? In other words could I go back to the attorney who drew  up the deed, and somehow have my disabled brother remove his name from the life estate on the property and have any siblings who are interested in the property, offer to buy the property? resulting in whomever offers the most money for the property do whatever they want with it after the sole owner purchases the property ,whether it be me or any of my siblings/How can I arrange something like this to be legally conducted?

 Please advise,

Originally posted by @Brian P.:

You say you all agreed to give your brother a life estate. Did all of you retain the remainderman interest. Other words do you all own the property? One thing you can do is have your brother who through his life estate has the right to occupy the property lease out the property. The other deadbeats living there do not have the right of possession and can be tossed out.  The rental income to your brother will help repair the house and give him some income. The other owners don't like it they can buy him out.

Family meeting, guys we're gonna clean out and fix up house for rent, the income will pay for a house for him to live in without worry for repair etc.  Hug and proceed!

Brian,

Yes we all have ,I assume , according to the deed we had drafted a 1/5 ownership in the property with my disabled brother having, a life estate interest. can I have my disabled  brother sign over his life estate interest to me for say $5.00, then there will be no life estate interest on the property. have that document recorded, contact the original attorney who drafted the original life estate deed, and have him to contact the other siblings, giving them notice that the life estate on the property has been removed  and if they are interested in the property they can submit an offer to purchase it, in 60 days  and if they are not interested in purchasing, it will be sold to the sibling who is willing to purchase the property? That way the property will be in one sole owner's name and not under the control of siblings and family members who are only benefiting from the property while the other owners are not?

Please advise,

Originally posted by @Darron Stewart:

Family meeting, guys we're gonna clean out and fix up house for rent, the income will pay for a house for him to live in without worry for repair etc.  Hug and proceed!

@Patricia Thomas you never know until you sit down and lay the cards on the table!  Either something is done or everyone will lose, especially the disabled brother.

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