Q: if a will says to split the assets but the asset is in another sibling name, does she have to honer the will?
the asset is a home that is now in my sisters name.
A: No, if the property was held as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. In that case, the property belongs to the surviving owner. A Will only has dispositive effect on individually owned assets that have no beneficiary designation.
If the deed is in two names, the person who died and your sister, then the home probably is now 100% your sister's. She must get the old deed transferred into her own name exclusively. To do this right she should have an attorney. It is not expensive. The first deed should be checked by an attorney because there are different types of deeds.
So, if a will is written, but there is an ownership document that has two names on it (like a deed), the will does NOT override it. A will only takes care of items with only the owner's name on it, with no beneficiary, and items which have no ownership papers. An attorney should look at everything to make sure.
But there is an outside possibility that the deed was transferred into joint names with your sister by undue influence or pressure. If that occurred, you would have to file a lawsuit to get the judge to cancel the deed. This does not happen often. However it is a possibility and you DEFINITELY need to talk to an attorney before you try to do this. Do not do this on your own.
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By the way, after you have resolved your immediate issue, you should consider writing a will or a trust for yourself and have an attorney go over things that you own to double check everything is going to whom you want it to. It sounds like your parent did not know that a will does NOT override a deed with joint names. There are details that need to be looked into. So don't let this happen to your own children or whoever you want to give your items to.
Nina Whitehurst agrees with this answer
1 user found this answer helpful
A: I am afraid that if her name is on the asset, then it belongs to her and the Will had no control over it (unless the deceased's name is on the asset too, in which case it gets harder and depends on exactly how the names are on the paperwork).
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