Properties owned by my brother and I

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Properties owned by my brother and I

My brother and I own two properties together. Both names on the deed. My brother recently passed away. What steps do I need to take to sell both properties.

Asked on August 14, 2019 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If you and he owned it as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or JTROS, on his death, you became sole owner by operation of law and how you and he owned it. When one JTROS dies, the other gets his or her interest immediately and automatically. You can sell it right now, but should have his death certificate available to prove that you the sole owner and so have sole authority. No probate is needed.
If you and he owned it as tenants in common, you have to get his 50% transferred over to you--assuming it does go to you; he might have willed it to someone else, or if he had a spouse or children, they would inherit his 50%. Whomever will inherit it--you (if willed to you, or if there is no will and he had no spouse or children) or someone else--will not be the owner until the property goes through the probate process and is transferred to the heir's or beneficiary's name. Someone (presumably you) will have to apply to the court to be named the personal repressentative for the estate and you initiate the probate process.


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