Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Pennsylvania

Q: What happens if 2 siblings who inherit a parent's home, cannot agree on what happens to the house during probate?

Here are the details. Sister and I inherited house from father (no mortgage or liens), no will, we started probate, we payed the inheritance tax, we got a new deed created with both our names on it, and we agreed that we both were going to continue living in the house for the next year or 2, but we haven't came to an agreement on what we will do next. For instance, sell the house, or one of us purchase the other person's 50% interest in the house. From my understanding, in order to complete the probate process, we would need to make a decision on what will happen to the house. If we cannot come to an agreement, or if one of us refuses to purchases the other sibling's 50% of the property, what happens?

1 Lawyer Answer
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: If that "new deed" to both of you has been executed and recorded, then the property is no longer part of the probate estate.

If the two of you are unable to come to some agreement about what to do with the property, either one of you can file a partition action in court, that seeks to sell the property, with each enjoying the proceeds commensurate with their record interests in the property (e.g., 50/50 in your case). Very often, while the case is pending, one of the parties (motivated to action by the filing of the case), negotiates with the other to buy the other's interest in the party, and that resolves the lawsuit.

Stephen M. Asbel agrees with this answer

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