Homework Help

Michigan's Register of Probate didn't admit mothers will, which was joint between me...

user profile pic

mastercut | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 25, 2008 at 9:56 PM via web

dislike 1 like

Michigan's Register of Probate didn't admit mothers will, which was joint between me and my sister, but my sister died.  Who owns the home? 

Does my sister's estate recieve half of my mothers estate or I'm I the sole owner of the estate of my mother? My sister died before the home was sold.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

prospero | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 26, 2008 at 3:45 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

It depends on the specific language used by your mother in her will.  If you and your sister were given ownership as "joint tenants with a right of survivorship" then chances are that you would own all of the property outright.  But, if your mother's will didn't use that specific language, then it is more likely that you owned the property together as tenants in common, meaning that your sister's estate would be entitled to one half.

Joint Tenancy with a right of survivorship is a unique form of ownership that vests all interest in the property in the survivor at the time the other owner dies.  If you and your sister were made joint tenants by your mother's will, and your sister then died, then you would become immediately the sole owner of the property.  If, however, your mother's will did not expressly make you joint tenants, then the likely result is that you were tenants in common and your sister's estate therefore is entitled to her half.

Joint tenancy and tenancy in common are forms of legal ownership.  This has nothing to do with a landlord/tenant relationship even though it uses the word "tenant."  If the specific language necessary to create a joint tenancy is not used, then ownership is presumed by law to be held as tenants in common.

You should look closely at your mother's will, and seek legal counseling to better understand your rights.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes