How to exclude a spousal heir from family property?

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How to exclude a spousal heir from family property?

My mother was recently moved to a nursing home. She transferred her house and property into her 3 children’s names. However, my brother passed away in almost 3 months ago and his wife refuses to show his Will to the probate court. Is there a way in TN to keep his wife from seizing her portion of the property and house or is she even entitled to the property and house? He has no other heirs (children). I need a legal way to change the deed to my name and my remaining brother’s name. It’s our family home and we don’t want to have to sell it.

Asked on June 27, 2011 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for the loss of your brother and for the problems that have ensued.  There are many little issues here that will impact on this matter and without knowing more no real guidance can be given.  How the property was held: with or without rights of survivorship - matter. I am assuming by the way that you have written the question that you were joint tenants or tenants in common without rights of survivorship.  So when you brother passed away his portion of the house went to his estate or to whom ever he bequeathed it to in his Will.  The house was not marital property per se as it was inherited from his Mother and was never placed in his wife's name, but it may end up that way in the end given the circumstances.  You can not change the deed unless and until his estate is probated.  I am guessing that he may have left his portion to you and your sibling because his Wife is refusing to show you his Will.  If he is considered to have died intestate she may end up with a portion of it.  You need to force her hand here and legal help in doing it.  Good luck .


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