Philadelphia, PA asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for New Jersey

Q: One (of 5 siblings) live in their parents house in NJ for past decade. Both parents die, who gets the house? No will.

A woman is one of five children. She lived with her elderly mother and stepfather for the last 10 years. Her stepfather dies. The house and all assets go to his wife. Then his wife dies. The woman who has lived in the house for the last ten years has paid bills, remodeled and paid taxes on her parents home to maintain it. Her other 4 sibling now want the house. There is no will. can the woman who's been living there for the past decade be forced out? And if so, what is the process?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: When a person dies without a will, the property the decedent owned is distributed through a process called probate to the decedent's heirs according to the states laws of intestate succession. If the decedent had surviving children but no surviving spouse, which sounds like the case here, the children inherit in equal shares. The woman who lived there for a decade or so will not have to share the house with her siblings. Most likely someone is going to want to sell, and any of the the siblings can force a sale using a process called partition, unless the one who wants to stay buys the other siblings shares from them. You should find a probate attorney to help you with this.

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