What happens if a co-owner of real estate dies?

My husband and I bought vacant land 25 years ago after we were married. When we were buying our now house we needed cash so we offered my brother-in-law (husband’s brother) to come in as partner on the land. It was never divided; we all just owned all of it. My brother-in-law was single at the time and he is on the deed. Then, 4 years ago, he committed suicide. The family thinks that 1/2 of the vacant land goes to his widow. Since we were all partners and he did not have a Will, I understand that his portion reverts back to us. Correct or not?

Asked on November 18, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


G.J., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The answer to this question really depends on how you owned the land with your brother-in-law. If you owned it in a joint tenancy with a right to survivorship- then the property will transfer to the co-owners that are still alive. If you owned the property as tenant in common- then your brother-in-laws intrest in the property will go into his estate.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.