After a joint tenant dies, what are the rights of the remaining co-owners?

UPDATED: Dec 8, 2014

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After a joint tenant dies, what are the rights of the remaining co-owners?

My mother purchased a home 4.5 years ago with my husband and I also on the deed as joint tennents with right of survivorship. She passed away 3 months ago and her power of attorney is demanding that we sell the home and place the proceeds in her trust account. The trustee is my brother who convinced her to make him her power of attorney and remove my husband and I as her joint durable power of attorney when she moved 8 months after we purchased the property. Before my mother moved, she decided to move our of the house and into a condo as she still wanted her independence. Are we by law obligated to sell this house and turn the proceeds over to him who is the beneficiary of her estate?

Asked on December 8, 2014 under Estate Planning, Florida


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the issues that have arisen since your Mother has passed.  First:  the Power of Attorney is NO LONGER VALID.  It dies with the person for whom it is enacted so unless your brother has been appointed as the Executor or Administrator of your Mother's estate he has NO POWER TO ACT.  Second: if the house is held with "rights of survivorship" it passed to YOU AND YOUR HUSBAND AUTOMATICALLY at your Mother's passing and it is NOT part of her estate.  Your brother has NO RIGHTS to the property or any proceeds from the sale and you do NOT have to sell it.  Get legal help.  Good luck.

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