Will that says tenants in common

Grandfather’s will allow for him wife my grandmother to live there her life
and then his daughter my mother to live there her natural life.

Then it says upon her death ‘I will and devise all my real estate to the bodily
issue of my daughter in equal shares as tenants in common in fee simple

English please? Seriously, I have two brothers and we have always been told
when my mother passes then the property goes to the 3 of us in equal shares.
Which means that 1 one can buy the other two out or 2 sell everything and
split it 3 ways? This is what I think but I really don’t know.

The other part of it is I have been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and don’t
have much time. If I die before my mother then do my heirs get my share or are
they out of luck?

Asked on June 4, 2017 under Estate Planning, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You have done a good job of translating legalese to English: 
* bodily issue of my daughter means to his daughter's biological children--you and your brothers
* equal shares means what it sounds like--equally split between the three of you
* tenants in common is one of the two main ways for more than one person to together own property: it means that you could each sell or pass on (e.g. to heirs) you share (in other words, someone could buy your share and become a 1/3 owner, or you could leave it to your child), and not that either the property can only be sold all together or that if one of the "tenants" dies, that the other ones then get or absorb his/her share; you are a joint owner of the property in a way that gives you more control over your interest in it
* fee simple absolute is a fancy, old-fashione ways of saying that the people who inherit will own the property free and clear of other interests (e.g. there are no life estates), other than any liens or mortgages which happen to be on the property
* while each of you can, as stated above, sell or pass on a share of the property, to actually transfer the physical real estate (not just an interest in it) will take a decison by 2 of the 3, or a majority of the ownership; all the owners will then equally share any profits.
Unfortunately, if you predecease your mother, then your share will not go to your heirs, unless the will has additional language which you have not quoted indicating that it would. Otherwise, since yoru heirs are not the bodily issue of your mother, they will not inherit and instead the surving siblings will split the property.

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