What does it cost to put a deceased parent’s estate in probate if the parent left no Will but there are 5 siblings surviving?

UPDATED: Mar 30, 2012

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What does it cost to put a deceased parent’s estate in probate if the parent left no Will but there are 5 siblings surviving?

I am 1 of 5 remaining children of the deceased; I am the only one paying the taxes and maintaining upkeep on the property (old house on 2 lots). Will I owe them each 1/5 of the fair market value of the property?

Asked on March 30, 2012 under Estate Planning, Arkansas


Christopher Vaughn-Martel / VAUGHN-MARTEL LAW

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am also sorry that you and family have had this loss.  Assuming that there is no will or other instrument dealing with the property, the real estate is going to pass to your deceased parent's heirs according to the laws of intestacy.  If that is the case, you have a number of options:

1. A co-owner may buy out the interest of all other co-owners;

2. All co-owners may agree to list and sell the property;

3. All co-owners can continue to own the property together, splitting all expenses and income according to his or her beneficial ownership interest.

In the event that none of the above is acceptable - meaning all five owners cannot agree - then any co-owner has the right to file a petition for partition in court.  In a partition action, the court is tasked with managing the sale of the property and fairly dividing any proceeds.

Our firm handles these cases routinely, and it is often better to come to some negotiated agreement, if possible.


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If your parent left no Will then they died "intestate" and the intestacy laws in your state will apply.  I am fairly certain - but please double check - that you and your siblings will share equally in the estate.  Along with sharing equally comes equal responsiblity of the maintenance and upkeep.  Now, if you have been paying taxes and maintaining the property you are entitled to reimbursement minus what your share would have been.  You can use this as a set off if you are attempting to purchase the property from the estate.  The value of the property is the date of death value, not the present day value (although it may be close in time).  You will need a date of death appraisal.  Get some help here.  Good luck.

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