Q: My brother died he and a friend bought a house years ago and he willed everything to me how do I get my half of equity
I live in PA and the house is in VA, what would I have to do to get my half of the equity in the property
A: The answer depends on a number of issues, but, at least theoretically, you already own the property subject to the estate’s need to sell it to pay creditors. What you need to do is determine the liquidity of the estate and the complete title to the property, and, if you share title, determine the intentions of the other co-tenants. You may then either sell, co-tenant, or do as you wish so long as the sale isn’t needed to meet the decedent’s debts. The best bet is to start with a consult with a Virginia lawyer who covers real estate and probate law.
You must first check the tenancy on the deed. If your brother and his friend owned the property as joint tenants with the common-law right of survivorship, it passed to his friend upon his death, and you have no rights to it. If they were tenants in common, you should record the will. You will then have to either negotiate with the friend for a buyout or a voluntary sale, or file a partition suit to force the sale. There may be other property that you are entitled to under the will.
You should consult with an experienced Virginia probate lawyer to discuss your options and the best course of action.
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