One son on House title of Fathers house but wants other sons to inheriate a share

There is a father, mother and 1 brother on title; the house paid in full. The father wants the house to go to 4 sons when he and wife pass. What needs to be done to grant his wishes? The brother on the house title claims the house on his taxes. The father wants the house to be split 50% to the brother on title, 25% for the second son, 12.5% for the third and 12.5% for the fourth son.

Asked on December 27, 2018 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Right now, if there are three people (father, mother, brother) on the title, at most, the father could transfer his share to children, such as in a will: i.e. a one-third or 33% share. He cannot transfer any part of the other persons' shares or interest. Certainly, the mother and brother could cooperate and choose to set up their own wills to coordinate with his, but they'd have to voluntarily do that--they cannot be compelled to will some or their interest the way he wants it done.
Furthermore, if the three of them own the home as joint tenants with right of survivorship (JTROS), he *can't* transfer any part of even his own interest, since right now, as JTROS's, when one of three passes, the other two have a legal right to get his/her share: e.g. if the father dies first, if the three are JTROS's, the two survivors split his share or interest and end up as 50-50 owners. He cannot take away their right to this, so he can't will his interest to anyone else.
There are many issues involved here, in regards to how the home is own, but interest can be transferred and how, etc. The father is strongly advised to retain an attorney to review the situation and help him.

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