If I am named a beneficiary in my dad’s Will and he signed over the deed to his home to my brother before he passed, what are my rights to it?

Can I demand to have my name out on the deed to protect my interest in the home? The house is legally half mine even though my brother is living in it. I would like my share, how would

he buy me out?

Asked on April 14, 2016 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The beneficary of a Will can only inherit that which is actually in the estate at the time of probate. If an asset has been previously disposed of, it no longer is a part of the estate. Accordingly, a beneficiary has no rights to it. Therefore, if your father's house was transferred to your brother prior to your father's death, then it was not part of your father's estate. You have no rights to it as a beneficary of your father's Will. And if the title to the house was in your brother's name only, then it is legally your brother's sole property. That having been said, if it was your father's wish that you both split the property, you could ask your brother to give you your share. He, however, is under no legal obligation to do so.


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