Q: My father died with out a will in CA> The house was in my brothers name. Do the other siblings have any control
Father stated before his death that he wanted his youngest daughter to live in his house because the other siblings were out of the state and already well established, Home owners , with good jobs. Literally on his death bed he told everyone that he wanted his youngest daughter to live in his house. Now the son is kicking his sister out and selling the house. Does she have any legal way to block the sale, Can the son keep all the proceeds from the sale and give his sister nothing and finally a death bed declaration means nothing in CA.
A: Estate planning is important. The documents control the disposition of the property unless there are specific circumstances that require a different treatment. You should consult a California Probate attorney to see if any of the exemptions apply.
Best of luck.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
A: I am very sorry for your loss and to hear that your family is going through this. I am especially sorry to hear that your father failed to engage in any kind of estate planning. As far as I know, there is no state in the Union that allows oral wills to transfer real property. The few states that do allow oral wills only allow them for property of very low value, e.g. up to $1,000. California does not allow oral wills at all. They were repealed decades ago. So, even if the house had been in your dad's name, his oral will would have been invalid.
The house being in your brother's name is also a giant impediment to honoring what you believe to be your father's wishes. The presumption would be that he meant to give it to your brother. In theory you could hire an attorney to bring a quiet title action against your brother and attempt to prove that your father only intended to give it to your brother to hold it in some kind of trust or fiduciary capacity but you would need some really, really, really solid evidence of that to overcome the gift presumption. And if by any chance your brother actually paid your dad for the house, forget it.
If what you say is true, you are at your brother's mercy to "do the right thing". If there's one thing I have learned after so many years of doing this kind of work, it's that you don't know a person's true character until they have to choose between a lot of money and doing the right thing.
Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.