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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default Does a Deed Overrule a Will

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: WV

    My step mother and step brother were on a deed to a house given to them by my stepmothers mother. My step mother became very ill and wrote a probate will out saying my father was allowed to live in the house until he dies or decides to leave and then the full property would go to my stepbrother. My step brothers name is not on the will since he was out of state and couldnt be there for the signing. After my step mothers passing my step brother tried to evict my dad calling him a squater and the deed to the home over rides his moms will. He has tried to turn off all the utilities including having the gas and water meter taken out of the property when all the bills were in my dads name. My dad has lived there for over 25 years and put over $100000 improving the home that was originally valued at only $15000. I was told my dad might be considered to be a life tenant. Also is it legal to have someones utilities shut off if they are living in the home and its in their name? And what happens to all the money he put into his home if hes forced out, shouldnt get anything for free. Also there were two witnesses that confirm my stepbrother saying when my stepmother was alive that he wouldnt kick my dad out of the house, idk if that helps anything.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: Vet Stay in His Home

    The problem dad has is he was only granted a life estate by one owner, if it is in fact judged to be a valid will.
    With enough thrust, pigs fly just fine.
    You may believe that you understood what you think I said. I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Re: Does a Deed Overrule a Will

    Quote Quoting narrite
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    My step mother and step brother were on a deed to a house given to them by my stepmothers mother.
    Some form of joint ownership.... You haven't indicated otherwise, so should we assume they have equal rights to the property under the terms of the deed? Is there a right of survivorship?
    Quote Quoting narrite
    My step mother became very ill and wrote a probate will out saying my father was allowed to live in the house until he dies or decides to leave and then the full property would go to my stepbrother.
    That would be relevant to your stepmother's interest in the property; but if her interest is equal to your stepbrother's then he would also have the right to the use and enjoyment of the property.
    Quote Quoting narrite
    My step brothers name is not on the will since he was out of state and couldnt be there for the signing.
    You don't have to be present at the execution of a will to be a beneficiary.
    Quote Quoting narrite
    After my step mothers passing my step brother tried to evict my dad calling him a squater and the deed to the home over rides his moms will.
    It may, but you haven't shared the granting language with us. It would be helpful if you would share it now.
    Quote Quoting narrite
    My dad has lived there for over 25 years and put over $100000 improving the home that was originally valued at only $15000.
    It's generally not a good idea to invest a great deal of money in property that's not yours. If there is a co-owner, it's generally a very good idea to address up-front how such costs are to be divided between the parties, as without such an agreement you're generally going to be making a gift to the co-owner.
    Quote Quoting narrite
    I was told my dad might be considered to be a life tenant.
    Again, what is the granting language of the deed? Did this person review that language?
    Quote Quoting narrite
    Also is it legal to have someones utilities shut off if they are living in the home and its in their name?
    Once you share the relevant facts it will be easier to determine your father's rights. If he's merely an occupant, your stepbrother should be lawfully evicting him - serving notice and, if necessary, taking him to court. If your father has a life estate in an undivided half interest, he has the associated rights to use and enjoyment of the property - but if the actual issue is that the bills were in stepmom's name, it would not be unreasonable for them to be moved to the name of one owner or the other.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: Does a Deed Overrule a Will

    Thank you for the fast response you have pretty much given me the information needed. The only main word written on the probate was my father was the executor of the estate

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    27,021

    Default Re: Does a Deed Overrule a Will

    Quote Quoting narrite
    View Post
    Thank you for the fast response you have pretty much given me the information needed. The only main word written on the probate was my father was the executor of the estate
    what was on the deed naming your step mother and step brother? How was title held between the two of them? If it was joint with rights of survivorship, step brother is correct; he owns the house 100%. If it was tenants in common, then step mother could transfer her share of the property as she wished.

    If the will did list your father as a life tenant or described him as such, he would have the right to possess the house ALONG WITH step-brother (since step mother could not dispose of or control step brothers share).

    so, how was ownership held between step mother and step brother?

    if tenants in common, was the will presented to probate court? If not, it is not in effect until such time it is. Once presented, it can be validated and enforced.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: Does a Deed Overrule a Will

    The home was my step mothers main residency and she was the main owner of the property. My step brother was not a co owner and did not live on the property for the full 25years they lived at the house. I was just informed his signiture isnt even on the deed of the property it was just typed in, only my step mom her mother and her uncle signed it.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2006
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    27,021

    Default Re: Does a Deed Overrule a Will

    narrite;614003]The home was my step mothers main residency and she was the main owner of the property
    .unless the deed stated some unequal division, they were equal owners.



    My step brother was not a co owner and did not live on the property for the full 25years they lived at the house.
    WHOA!!! what about this:

    My step mother and step brother were on a deed to a house given to them by my stepmothers mother.
    If that is true, then he was/is a co-owner. Whether he lived there or not is irrelevant.

    I was just informed his signiture isnt even on the deed of the property it was just typed in, only my step mom her mother and her uncle signed it
    the only signatures required on the deed are that of the grantor which, in your explanation, was the stepmother's mother.

    and what does your uncle have to do with this?

    It is obvious you are missing a lot of information needed to provide you with any reasonably dependable answer. If you want something somewhat dependable, you need to answer the questions I asked as well, you need to know positively, how the property was held between your step mother and step brother, has the step mothers will been presented to probate court, and in that will, did it grant your father a life estate to the property?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    4

    Default Re: Does a Deed Overrule a Will

    Thank you. You have been very detailed in explaining everything and I have a better understanding of what he needs to do.

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