If a house is in 3 siblings names and 1 dies, do their heirs become part owners?

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If a house is in 3 siblings names and 1 dies, do their heirs become part owners?

What happens when a part owner of a house dies if that owner has children? Would the house be part of their inheritance?

Asked on July 3, 2017 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on just how title to the house is held. If the deed lists the names of the owners followed by the words "joint tenants with rights of survivorship", then the deceased sibling's share does not pass to their estate. Instead, ownership remains with the other co-owners, whose ownership interest is equitably increased. If there is no survivorship language, then the owners hold title as "tenants in common" (no specific language is needed for this). This means that the deceased siblings share becomes an asset of their estate and passes to either their beneficiaries (if there is a Will) or their heirs if there is no Will.


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