If two people are on the deed for a house and one pass away suddenly, can the childre of the decease demand you to sell the house if there is no will

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If two people are on the deed for a house and one pass away suddenly, can the childre of the decease demand you to sell the house if there is no will

If two people are on the deed for a house and one pass away suddenly, can the children of the decease force you to sell the house?

Asked on March 17, 2017 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It depends on just how title is held. If it is designated after the owners' names as "joint tenants with rights of survivorship", then upon the death of the 1 owner, the other owner became the sole owner of the house. Therefore, the deceased's family has no say over what is and sin't done with it. If there was no such designation, then the deceased's owner's share would go to their heirs. Since there was no Will, that would be to their surviving spouse, if any, and the children of the deceased. Once their names are added to the title, then they can force a sale of the house via something known as "partition by sale". In other words, they can file a "partiton" action and since the house cannot be divided, a court would order that it be sold with the proceeds equitably distributed among the owners. However, before it was offered for sale to the general public, any owner who wanted to keep the property could buy out the other owners for fair market value.


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