Does a deed to a house override a Will?

I am on the deed to my dads house and share a checking account with him. In his Will it states that all his belongings/assets will be liquidated and divided among his four children. If the deed to the house is in my name can I just keep it without selling it and dividing the portions between myself and my worthless siblings who do NOTHING for him? Thank You, Misty

Asked on May 17, 2017 under Estate Planning, Arizona


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A Will can only convey that which the testator (the maker of the Will), owns at the time of their death. So if you were the only one on the deed, then you are the sole owner of the house since it is not an asset of the estate, even if the Will may state otherwise. That having been said, if you were both on the deed, then it may not be so simple. If the deed states after your names, "joint tennats with rights of survivorship", then you held title as "joint tenants" which means that you became vested with 100% ownership upon your father's death. However, if it had no such language, then you held title as "tenants in common" which means that your father's share of the house would go to the benficiaries of his Will (i.e. you and your 3 siblings). 

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