Fayetteville, TN asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Tennessee

Q: Tennessee, a warranty deed in 1997 a bf/gf listed as tenants in common with rights of surv then heirs only 1 signature??

my mother (i was only 11) i was told SHE bought a mobile home and some property, we moved into said home few months later i am woken to her bf whom moved into home with us to call my nanny and tell her my mom is being taken to the er by ambulance but he said to the Fayetteville er not Tullahoma er (not sure if he would know that info or not seems off to me but its my mom its all off to me) he never lets me go to her room or see whats going on while he paces until ambulance arrives. he takes me and his daughter to moms boss home not going straight to er anyways long story short she passes away with findings of brain aneurysm rupture from autopsy report. i find a year ago nearly when my nanny was abt to pass away the talk of her home where it should or would go too and thinking of why he still lives in my moms home and why i never got anything of it call deeds office and they send me an email of the deed and it reads above. is this even legal or does he have all rights to live their?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Probate Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Tennessee, when a property is owned as tenants in common with rights of survivorship, it means that upon the death of one owner, their share typically passes to the surviving owner(s). However, the specific language in your mother's deed stating "tenants in common with rights of survivorship then heirs" is unusual and might be interpreted differently. This could potentially mean that her share would pass to her heirs rather than the surviving co-owner, depending on how the deed is written and interpreted under Tennessee law.

Since your mother's boyfriend was living with her and is listed on the deed, his rights to the property depend on the exact wording of the deed and how Tennessee law applies to that wording. If the deed does indeed grant survivorship rights to the surviving tenant, then he may have legal rights to the property. However, if the deed indicates that her share should pass to her heirs, you might have a claim to her portion of the property.

Given the complexity of your situation and the specific language of the deed, it's crucial to consult with an attorney who has expertise in real estate and probate law in Tennessee. An attorney can review the deed, understand the specific circumstances of your mother's passing, and advise you on your rights and options.

Additionally, if there are any doubts about the circumstances of your mother's death or the handling of her estate, it may be appropriate to discuss these concerns with your attorney as well. They can guide you on whether any further legal actions are necessary or advisable.

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