My mother and I purchased a home together over 6 years ago as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, can she force a sale and change the deed?

UPDATED: Aug 26, 2011

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My mother and I purchased a home together over 6 years ago as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, can she force a sale and change the deed?

In the last year my mother has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and receives a VA check reflecting this. With my brother’s help my mother is taking me to court to force me to sell and change deed. What are the chances they can get this done?

Asked on August 26, 2011 Alabama


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you presently hold legal title to the home that you purchased with your mother as joint tenants you own at least a fifty percent (50%) interest in the property that is yours.

If your mother wishes to change the joint tenancy deed, she can simply transfer her interest in the joint tenancy deed to herself through another recorded deed breaking the joint tenancy where you and her end up holding title to the property as tenants in common.

You do not need court intervention to change how the deed is being held to the property. Your mother, assuming she is competent can transfer her ownership of the property as a joint tenant out of joint tenancy into a tenancy in common.

If there is a court action filed concerning the property, most likely it is a partition action asking the court to order its sale. If you can afford to purchase her interests in it, you might consider purchasing her interests in it.

Potentially there could be a court order requiring the sale of the property.

If you do not have an attorney representing you in this dispute, you should consider retaining one.

Good luck.

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 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.

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