If I have a brother who is single and who co-owned a townhouse with our mother, since she passed away 3 months ago does her half of the townhouse go into her estate or does it pass to my brother?

She passed away 3 months ago.

Asked on January 5, 2018 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina


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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on just how title is held. If the deed reads their names followed by the words, "with rights of survivorship", then they held title as joint tenants. This means that upon your mother's death, your brother became vested with 100% ownership of the property. If rights of survivorship was not added to the deed, then your mother and brother were "tenants in common". This means that upon her death, her 1/2 interest in the property became an asset of her estate and passes according to the terms of her Will or, if she had no Will, via state "intestacy" law.

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.