Q: My father recently passed. He owned a home with a friend. What are my responsibilities as a surviving adult child?
The friend is not a legal spouse but still lives in the home. My father is listed on the deed/mortgage as a joint tenant in common. Can this house be sold without approval by his heirs?
A: The deed would typically be tenants in common or joint tenants with right of survivorship. If right of survivorship, property automatically goes to the co-owner. If it is tenants in common, then it would need to go through probate to determine his heirs. Unless the deed states otherwise, property would typically be split 50/50 - 1/2 to your father's heirs and 1/2 to the other person on the deed.
Getting to your more specific question of whether it can be sold without approval - it's possible, but not likely.
The vast majority of home buyers need financing, which requires title insurance. In order for a title to be certified, there cannot be outstanding probate. The current owner could try to sell it without going through all the proper channels, but the title would never be clean (which could prevent future sales and refinances). Even then, you would likely have some recourse.
Lillian J. LaRosa agrees with this answer
1 user found this answer helpful
A: In Massachusetts if he was a resident here a Petition for Probate either testate or intestate would need to be commenced . Heirs or devisees under the Will and children of the deceased need to be notified of the estate. You really need to contact a probate attorney to go over your facts and make appropriate recommendations based on same.
Kimberly Winslow agrees with this answer
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