What rights does a beneficiary to an inherited home have as against another beneficiary?

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What rights does a beneficiary to an inherited home have as against another beneficiary?

I bought into my parents house after my mother passed away. My father and I each owned 50% of the house as tenants in common. My father passed leaving his 50% through the trust to all 6 children. I now own 50% plus 1/6. My little sister separated and moved into the house with her 2 children. I still pay all the mortgage, taxes, insurance etc. What rights does my sister have? She is not helping to keep the house as we have. Do I have any leverage?

Asked on September 29, 2010 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  Really it is not her rights that matter here but your rights.  She has a 1/6th right in 50% of the house.  Your rights are far greater.  You all have a right to decide what the rent should be and then minus her portion.  You also have a right to contribution from all your siblings as to the mortgage, taxes, insurance, etc., on the house.  Keep all the receipts for everything that you have paid for since your father passed away.  Has the estate been probated yet?  It should really be done as soon as possible.  And you should consider either buying out your siblings for the other 50% (minus 1/6th) or selling the home and starting fresh with another dwelling that no one will consider "home" in a storm and run to for shelter.  That is the problem in these situations.  People who are in need run home to their families.  That is what you sister did.  Good luck.


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