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Saturday, November 6, 2010

How do I sell my half of a jointly owned house?

The fact that I'm asked this question so frequently hammers home a couple of points for me. One is that people don't understand the nature of joint ownership. The second is that parents should stop leaving their house to all of their children jointly.

When two (or more) people own a property as joint tenants, there is a right of survivorship. This means that each of them owns the entire property, just as both would own every dollar in a joint bank account. There is no "half" in a jointly owned property. Each owns 100%. Therefore, there is no "half" to sell.

This seems to be a really tough concept for people. I'm constantly asked about this issue on my blog and at pretty much every seminar I present. One person argued with me for about ten minutes about the fact that if two people owned a house it HAD to be half and half. He had no legal reason to believe this, but that didn't stop him from being absolutely sure that he'd know this better than I would.

The whole idea behind a joint ownership is to leave the entire property to the other person when one dies. For example, if a husband and wife own their home jointly and one of them dies, the other still has the house. It's a "last man standing" concept. It doesn't really work for a number of siblings owning a house.

If two or more people want to own "halves" or "parts" of a house, they should hold that property as tenants in common. In that arrangement, each has a piece of the house that he or she can sell or leave to someone in their Will.

This brings me to the second point.

About 90% of the questions I get about how to get out of a joint tenancy come from people who own something with their siblings and the arrangement isn't working. It's almost always because a parent left the house to ALL of the children equally. Parents need to be realistic about the million or so ways this arrangement can go wrong. More than one child wants to live there, and nobody can agree. One moves in but won't move out and won't pay rent or expenses. The roof needs repairs but each wants the others to pay for it. One rents it out without the permission of the others. One causes damage and won't pay for repairs. Two want to sell but the third won't sign. And on and on and on.

Why wouldn't the parents choose one child to take the house as part of his share? Or direct that the house be sold and the proceeds split? This is truly something done without thought that leads to so many fights and headaches, I can't believe anyone does this anymore. Parents - please stop doing this to your kids!

155 comments:

  1. Hello

    I must say I find your blog very informative and helpful.

    My question being, If a home is willed to multiple people (who are not on the title) for there (his/her) own use absolutely. What does this mean? What if the people don't see eye to eye? eg. One wants to live there and has no cash to pay out kinda thing. What happens then, what are the choices on how that is handled if any? And what happens with the original mortgage when no funds are available?

    Sorry for all the questions, just looking for informative help.
    Thank You.

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  2. Hi Jenny,

    Your questions are not really estate-planning questions, but I'll give you my perspective on them. You asked what happens if the people who inherit the house don't see eye to eye. I can tell you that they almost never see eye to eye. This is why I ended my post by asking parents to stop doing this to their kids, as they are setting them up for problems.

    Most likely the house will end up being sold and the money split, because trying to hold the title between the group is going to prove to be impossible. Not that selling it is going to be a piece of cake either; everyone is going to have to agree on the selling price and the date and other details. But selling it is really the only option, despite the fact that it will defeat the original purpose of keeping a property in the family.

    Lynne

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  3. I need some advice on how to buy out a family members share of the family cottage. My Uncle owns 50%, Mother owns 25% and Aunt owns 25%. My Aunt wants to sell her share to the family and my Uncle and Mom cannot afford it. Can I buy her share and can she force us to buy out her share. Please let me know. Thank you

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    Replies
    1. Your aunt can sell her share to whoever she wants to, and I don't see why that couldn't be you. I always cringe when I hear things like "sell to the family" because this almost never, ever works out as anyone wants it to. If you need any proof of this, read a few more posts to see what people are dealing with.

      The part of your question I don't really understand is the bit about her forcing you - whoever "us" refers to - to buy out her share. Nobody can be forced to buy anything.

      If she really wants or needs to sell her share and nobody in the family is prepared to buy it, she can either sell it to someone else or hang onto it until someone in the family is in a position to buy it.

      Lynne

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  4. What is the legal process when the joint tenant decided to take her name out of the property's title, that is, Title Transfer.
    For example: John Doe and Jane Doe are both registered as property owner but John Doe decided his name to be taken out of the title because he didn't want to be paying the mortgage, property taxes, etc.?

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  5. If John no longer wants to own his property, he has to transfer it to someone else either by sale or by gift. This involves preparing a form of Transfer of Land (they are different forms in different provinces) that John and whoever is receiving the property would sign and register at the Land Titles Office.

    Before going ahead, John should talk to his banker to see what happens to his mortgage if he transfers the property. He might also talk to an accountant about any tax consequences for himself or the recipient of the property.

    Lynne

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lynne,
      I have a question if my dad is 1% owner on my house can he stop me from selling?

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    2. Yes. Both your signature and his will be required if you want to sell 100% of the house.

      Lynne

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    3. Can the mortgage company offer a short term renewal without the others signature

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    4. Marlene, I have no idea. Ask the bank what its policy is.

      Lynne

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    5. Hello - If I own a condo with my daughter (both on title as joint tenancy) but now I would like to take my name off the title, what would be the legal and tax implications/steps needed? would really appreciate your comments, thank you!

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  6. Hi Lynne,
    How would one party of a "joint tenancy" go about switching the title from joint tenancy to tenants-in-common?
    Thanks,
    A concerned child of an elderly parent (who signed a legal agreement that the parent wishes they hadn't)!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lynne,

      If two people are on title under a joint tenancy agreement can one of the parties sever the joint tenancy agreement and change it to joint tenants in common and then sell their 50% share of the property?

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    2. Was this one answered? I am in the same situation :(

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    3. Yes, joint tenancies can be severed by one of the parties.

      Lynne

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  7. Lakefront Property is owned as tenants in common with 5 siblings each owning a 1/5 share, since 1977. One sibling had his share of the empty property bought for him by a parent and has NEVER paid one penny for anything - not a cent for the cabin that was built by the other 4 shareholders in 1985 or for anything else since, and has undiagnosed mental health issues (is a hoarder and hermit-type who has never held a steady job and is 60 years old). Both parents are now gone and two of the shareholders are buying out two of the older siblings but need to pursue avenues to have the brother's share who has never paid removed from the land title.

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    Replies
    1. The answer seems obvious to me. The brother "who never paid" needs to be bought out just like the other two. The fact that the source of his funds was his parents is not relevant to the fact that he is an equal owner just like everyone else. You can't just have him "removed from the land title" because you disapprove of him. I don't think this is the answer you wanted, but ownership of land carries rights.

      Lynne

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  8. I my mom gives me money to buy a house with my dad. If my marriage dissolves can my husband claim 1/4 (1/2 of my 1/2) of the house. If so, and if I can't buy him out, can he force a sale and force my dad to move out?

    Is there anyway to prevent that, ie my mom "gifts" the money or loans the money to me?

    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Did you ever get the answer to your question? I have a similar issue and am not sure what the outcome would be.

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    2. As this is not an estate-related question, I think it would be better off answered by a lawyer who works in real estate law.

      Lynne

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  9. My ex husband and I own a house that we were never married in. When we separated, we bought a duplex so our daughter could still have us both close by (for an adjustment period). I no longer live there, but he does and says he want to buy me out. We had agreed to put the house on the market months ago, but he is now stalling.

    We never had a legal separation agreement in place, but we are now legally divorced.

    Can I force a sale on this property?

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    Replies
    1. Hi. I appreciate your comment but this isn't an estate planning question, and really not areas of law that I work in. You'd be much better off asking a lawyer who works in real estate or family law.

      Lynne

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  10. Hi Lynne, If two people, brother and sister each own "half" a house, can one of them will his half to his wife if he dies, or does the house go to the surviving person? Like in the last man standing mentioned in the article. This is in the US. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. As a Canadian lawyer, I'm trained in Canadian law, and it would be pretty foolish of me to speculate as to how other countries' laws work. If the situation you describe were in Canada, and the property was held as tenants in common (not joint with right of survivorship) then the half could be willed to the spouse.

      Lynne

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  11. Hi Lynne:
    I have been reading your blog for a while and have found it very informative. I have a question, my mother in law purchased a house for my husband and I last year. It was put in our 3 names, as joint tenancy with right of survivorship. My MIL just passed away, and my husband's siblings have now drawn us into a law suit to try to get the house put into the estate. My question is, being only the Daughter in law, and if for some reason this house can be drawn into the estate, do I have any rights to 1/3 of the home because I am not a direct sibling? I don't know if this makes any sense. ??

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  12. Hi Lynne:
    I will try to keep my question short. My husband and I own a house (rental property)with another couple. All four of us are on title. We have no partnership agreement. For 5 years, my husband and I have wanted out of this agreement, but the other 2 owners refuse to buy us out or agree to sell. Are we legally able to sell our "half" or is there a way to force the sale if they won't comply? Can they continue hold us hostage? And if so, are we within our rights to refuse/evict a tenant - as leverage?

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    Replies
    1. This is not an estate planning question. You would be better off asking a lawyer who practices real estate law.

      Lynne

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  13. Hi: Lynne:
    My wife and I have a joint mortgage on our home. We have been planning for some months to sell the house to our son. Recently my wife had a major stroke and cannot speak very well and is unable to make decisions for herself, financial or otherwise. The house is a three level townhouse and due to her disability she will not be able to live there anymore. How do I go about selling the house so that I can find a place for us that will accommodate her disability? How will the joint mortgage effect my ability to sell the house while she is in this condition?

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    1. It's not the mortgage you have to deal with, but the title to the house. I assume that you and your wife also have joint ownership, as that is normally the case with a joint mortgage.

      As she is unable to make her own decisions now, someone with proper legal authority will have to sign papers for her.

      Did your wife prepare an Enduring Power of Attorney before her stroke? If so, this may allow the person named as her representative to act on her behalf. Even with a power of attorney, the sale of the family home is not always automatically allowed.

      If she has not prepared a power of attorney, you may have to approach the courts to be appointed as a trustee for your wife.

      If you would like to know more about how all of this works, you could check out my book called "Protect Your Elderly Parents", which talks about the roles and processes for adult guardians and trustees.

      You should probably meet with a lawyer local to you to talk all of this over. Take a copy of the house deed or tax notice so that the lawyer can get an up to date title search and start from there.

      Best of luck,
      Lynne

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  14. Hi Lynne,

    Thanks for the article - great read! My sister and I jointly own a home, and I would like to removed from the title so my sister is the sole owner. We get along great and have come to an arrangement between the two of us. We are meeting with the lawyer to sign the papers on Wednesday and the lawyer is insisting she has to pay land transfer tax, even though we paid it the first time we bought the house. If she truly owns 100% (not half), then I am of the belief removing my name from the title would not incur additional taxes to my sister. Could you please advise me on this matter? When one is removed from the title, does the other have to pay land transfer tax (in Ontario)?

    Thank you very much for your expertise.

    Sincerely,
    Andrea

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    Replies
    1. Land transfer tax is not the same as capital gains tax. Capital gains tax is assessed against the increase in value of the property during the time it was owned. An owner does not pay capital gains tax when he or she sells their own principal residence.

      However, land transfer tax is a tax on the actual movement of property. It's payable against every transaction. Think of it as a user fee and it might make more sense.

      Understand that "removing one from the title" is actually cancelling out one title and creating a new one with different names. It's a transfer of title and is therefore subject to the fee.

      Lynne

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  15. Thank you very much for the clarification Lynne.
    -Andrea

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  16. Thanks for an very informative article! My husband and I will have to chat about our will again.

    My question is this:
    My sister and I co-own a condo in Toronto, that she had been living in for the past 10 years. I live in another house. Now, we are thinking of selling off the condo. It is very clear that since it's my sister's primary residence, she doesn't get taxed on capital gains. However, will I get taxed?

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  17. My father, aunt and grandmother are on title of her property as joint tenants. My grandmother wants to sell the property to my cousin for $200K below market value. My father is refusing to sell for this value. What will happen to the property?. Also, if he was to pass before my grandmother, I know because of the way it's registered his share reverts back to my aunt and grandmother, will registering a deed help this?

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  18. I bought a house with my parents in CALGARY- each of us are named on the title.The purchase price was $102,000.00. For the first 10 yrs I lived in the house with them. The house is paid for. My portion of the purchase price was 34,000.00. The value of the house has appreciated since purchase, now worth $400,000.00. I would like to sell the house and receive my 1/3 share. My parents have offered me $50,000.00 total. Telling me that when they die I will also receive a quarter share of the house. I am of the belief that I am entitled to at least one third share of the current market value of the house and if they die the house becomes mine?

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  19. Lynne I have a question regarding real property. My father owned two houses. One was his principal residence and a second income property. I inherited his principal residence while my brother inherited the latter. It happened to be vacant at the time of death. My brother plans to put his house on the market but I am unable because the principal resident contains all the personal property including some of my brother's possessions. What are my responsibilities regarding providing access to my sibling?

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    1. The answer depends partly on the wording of the will. What did it say about dividing the personal possessions? If it said nothing, then you must assume that the personal possessions are part of the residue of the estate and belong to all of the residuary beneficiaries. I can't tell from your question whether you and your brother were residuary beneficiaries or not.

      The answer will also depend in part on who is the executor of the estate. It is the executor who is responsible for dealing with personal possessions of the estate. The executor should have cleared all personal possessions out of the property before transferring the property to you (other than those you were to inherit, of course). Since he or she did not do that, it would be co-operative of you to allow access to the executor at a time that suits you only for the purpose of removing those articles. If your sibling is not the executor, you do not have to grant him access at all, though I expect you would want to if he showed up to collect his stuff.

      If he doesn't make an effort to remove his goods from your house, you could consider giving him a deadline in writing for doing so. It doesn't have to be nasty; you just have to say that you need to get on with things and that if he doesn't pick up his belongings you will assume he doesn't want them. Provide a realistic opportunity, as you do not want to be accused of theft of his items.

      Lynne

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    2. Thank you Lynne for your prompt reply. We are co-executors neither of which live in the city. Definitely I do not recommed naming co-executors.

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    3. I tend to agree with you about making siblings co-executors. Parents do it because they think it's fair to all the kids. It's actually more like punishing the kids, and I hope plenty of parents read your post.

      Lynne

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  20. Lynne your posts regarding hoarders has prompted me to as a question I have pondered for a while.

    My wife was Executor of her father's estate. When he fell ill his house could be considered comparable to those homes featured on the program Hoarders: Buried Alive. After he passed away we spent weeks cleaning up the house.

    My father named National Bank (now Scotiabank) as Executor for his estate. My question is, how will they deal with clearing out his mess?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lynne,

      I take it that the answer to question as to how Scotiabank would deal with cleaning out a hoarder's residence is not straightforward?

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    2. Sorry to take so long to reply; I get lost in the volume of questions sometimes.

      The Scotiatrust office in St. John's where I work dealt with a hoarder's home just last year. In talking with my fellow Scotiabankers across Canada, I find that it's more common than people might think.

      All paperwork in the home has to be found and reviewed. This includes bank statements, bank books, loan statements, deeds, credit card bills, insurance policies, divorce documents and so on. We also have to locate identification cards such as the driver's license. This has to be done at every home we deal with, but with a hoarder, it may be done in stages as there is so much stuff in the house.

      We read the will before disposing of anything. Sometimes a will leaves certain items to certain people, and we have to look for those items, such as jewelry.

      If the will says that family members are to receive personal items, we arrange for them to meet us at the house to choose or collect those items. Again, in a hoarder's house that is not easy.

      In order for the house to be sold or transferred, it has to be cleaned out. We would hire cleaners for a job that big. In the recent case I mentioned, we arranged for a disposal bin to be placed in the driveway while we dealt with the contents of the home. We made sure that we gave the beneficiary of the estate plenty of time to remove items that she wanted to keep.

      In many homes, it's possible to hold a garage or estate sale to try to realize even a small amount of funds from the contents of the home. However, a hoarder's home is a special case because it's impossible for the home to be cleaned properly. There tend to be mice and possibly other stowaways. If there is a pet, it's even worse. Therefore, items that might otherwise have been sold must be disposed of because of their dirty condition.

      We keep our eyes open for items that need to be appraised. We ascertain the value of artwork or jewelry in the home.

      Lynne

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    3. Thank you Lynne. For some reason I thought you were in Alberta. I think my father attended one of your seminars in years past.

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    4. I spent most of my career in Alberta. I moved to NL (my home province) less than two years ago.

      Lynne

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  21. own an investment property with my ex wife, purchased when married. She got inv prop and I got principal res in divorce. I am selling my residence to release her from the debt, however she has refused to sell or refinance to release my name so I can buy a home with my new wife. As you can imagine this is causing huge issues for my new family, she says she still cannot qualify on her own and refuses yo sell. My question, as a joint owner can I force her to sell to release me from the debt so I can move forward. Furthermore she has been talking about bankruptcy which will ruin my credit, and has refused to sign mortgage renewal on my home increasing rate from 3% to 6%. I am unsure why she is doing this as we were only married 6 years snd gave no children. As an owner what are my legal rights to protect myself financially. I would like yo force the ssle so I can move on. There is no reason not to sell. And she has enforced my sale by not signing the renewal. I was not in a position to buy her out or have ger name removed when we divorced either, but agreed both properties would be liquidated as assets from divorce when we were both in a position to do so. What are my rights as an owner to liquidate, when the other owner cannot buy me out. It has been two years.

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    1. I'm guessing you two did your divorce without using a lawyer. Normally when someone "gets the house in the divorce" it is put into writing for the simple reason that all agreements relating to land must be in writing to be valid and enforceable. The agreement would also contain a clause that says that you each agree to sign all documentation necessary to give effect to the changes. This would give you a way to sue her if she refused to cooperate.

      You need to see a lawyer who specializes in divorce to help you sort this out. I don't do that kind of legal work, thank goodness.

      Lynne

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  22. Dear Lynne,

    I'm wondering if you could provide me with some real estate advice. My parents helped me and my brother with the down-payment of our current condo back in 2007. My brother, my sister in-law and I moved into the condo in March 2010.

    My brother and I are tenants-in-common and the down-payment was a gift from our parents. But the two of us have been paying the mortgage.
    Can you tell me what's the best way to divide the home? My brother doesn't want to sell it and I would prefer to remove my name off the deed so my sister in-law can take over. They both plan to continue living there after I leave. How do we determine the value of the home so I can sell my half to them?

    Thank you kindly.

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    1. Your situation is an example of why it's usually not a good idea to give a house to siblings together. It works well for a while, but eventually you have to deal with disposing of it.

      If you are a tenant in common, you can sell your half of the property, but realistically who do you sell it to? It seems you want to sell it to your brother or his wife, which makes perfect sense, but if they refuse to purchase it, you're really stuck.

      The only really workable solution in your case seems to be your brother and his wife buying out your half so that they can own the whole property and continue to live there. This could mean them re-financing the mortgage to come up with the cash to buy you out.

      To determine the value of the house, you only need to call a realtor - or two - to have them come in and take a look, To be as fair as possible, you might ask for two or three valuations, and average them out. Your share would of course be half of the value, less half of the mortgage.

      Lynne

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  23. Dear Lynne,

    I finally presented to my brother and my sister-in-law what I felt was "fair market value" of the condo based on two CMA's that were prepared by our realtor friends.

    Unfortunately, after speaking to a mortgage specialist at the bank, they were told that they didn't qualify for the amount to buy me out.

    Basically, I thought $450K was a fair number by averaging out the two CMA's (I believe after all the legal fees, etc., the net amount would be closer to $430K). Anyway, my brother and I still currently still owe about $180K and our mortgage doesn't mature until July 31, 2015.

    Right now, my plans are to move out with my fiance in early October and rent a friend's place for a few months in hopes of finding and buying our own place within the next 10 months. I don't feel that it's fair that I continue paying expenses for our condo when I'm not living there but if I'm legally the owner, I'm still obligated to of course.

    Could you tell me what our options are at this point? It's been quite frustrating because I'd like to get this done with asap but they are in absolute no hurry themselves.

    I'm not sure what to do or who do discuss this with.

    Thank you

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  24. Dear Lynne,
    About 25 years ago, my fiancé entered into a Tenants in Common agreement with her 2 parents. She paid for 1/2 of the house & the mortgage was paid off. About 15 years ago, the deed was changed to a Joint Tenancy. Recently, her parents went to a lawyer & had the Joint Tenancy voided & reverted back to Tenants in Common, without her knowledge. The deed specifies that her parents jointly own 1/2 & she owns 1/2. My first question is, was it legal to void the Joint Tenancy without her knowledge?

    We were recently married &, as I understand it, if she dies, her 1/2 ownership of the house goes to me. Please let me know if I'm not right.

    Regardless, in order to avoid any future problems or questions, or any possible financial/tax situations, I'd like to have my name added to the deed as a Tenant in Common on her portion of the ownership. My question is, do all parties in a Tenants in Common agreement have to sign to add a name, or can my wife do that without her parents' signature?

    I look forward to your reply.

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    1. Yes, it is possible to legally sever a joint tenancy without the consent of the other joint tenant.

      As for adding you to the title, you've mentioned what you would like, but not what your fiancee would like. I assume she's on board with you being added to the title, though I would hope she'd talk to a lawyer before adding anyone.

      Assuming that the title is actually held as tenants in common, your fiancee can do as she likes with it. She can add you to it, or sell it (assuming anyone would buy half a house) or she can leave it to someone in her will. She doesn't need to consult with her parents on this because her half is her half.

      I don't agree that her half of the house automatically goes to you. There are too many variables here for me to know. She may have a will that leaves it to someone else. I don't know whether it's the matrimonial home, which gets special treatment in most provinces. I don't know whether you have a prenup. I don't know whether there are children, either of your marriage or from any previous relationship she might have had. Bottom line, don't assume anything. Go ask a lawyer local to you.

      Lynne

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  25. Hi Lynn,

    I have a question about tenants in common.
    My wife purchased a house 10 years ago when she was quite young. In order to get a favorable mortgage, she had her parents assume 1% each of the ownership, while she took on 98% and all mortgage payments. We are now trying to sell the house and purchase another property. However, they do not like where we are moving and have refused to sign the paperwork.

    Can they block the sale of the house? Or is there any other way to deal with this issue without taking them to court?

    Thanks

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  26. To help our newly married daughter afford a place to live in this really expensive city (Vancouver), we are considering selling her and her husband 1/10 ownership in our house (that's what she and her husband can afford). They currently live in a separate suite in the house. If we own the property together as "tenants in common" what are the implications of this for estate planning (capital gains etc.) We're trying to be creative to help them build equity, but do not want a joint ownership situation. We have not consulted a lawyer about the legal ramifications yet.

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  27. Hi Lynne

    Me and my husband own a home together for the past 3 years which is in my fathers name. We could not obtain the mortgage under our own names then as we did not have the credit,After the 3 years My husband now has the credit to get the property under his own name, however I do not as my credit is bad. My concern is how can I be under the home if I can not be on the mortgage to insure I get my share of the property ? If I am placed on the home can creditors/collections take my share from me ?

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  28. my 2 sisters are execs...there are 5 of us sisters named as benefisarys. The two execs have had 7 years to close the estate. They kept waiting for us to agree to a buy out which was very low. One sister refuses to sell to them ...what happens? The execs say they will not put it on the market.I find this to be bullying as they have bought us out of 3 other propertys at their price. It was like we had no options?

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    1. There are very few options when people cannot agree on what to do. However, seven years is long enough. To break this deadlock, someone - could be you or any of the five sisters - needs to push this thing forward. I can see two options. One is mediation. That basically means sitting down with a neutral third party mediator who will help all of you come to an agreement. You don't need lawyers to represent you, since it's just a structured meeting with no judge present. It's cheaper, faster, and friendlier than taking each other to court.

      If mediation isn't successful, the only real option left is to go to court. You'd have to discuss with a lawyer exactly what you'd be asking the court to do, but it could be setting a deadline, setting a price, or even removing the executors. This option is expensive and will create hostility with your sisters, but it would get the estate moving.

      Lynne

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  29. Hi Lynne,

    My father in law co signed the mortgage when my husband bought a house. so FIL is on the title as well. And I'm not on the title. if my husband dies, then does the house goes to FIL, not me like you said "last man standing rule"? and if FIL dies, it all goes to my husband, not into father in law's estate and divided by his children? (my husband pays the mortgage) thanks.

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  30. wow did u just describe my story...ok here it is..both parents own same....house is long paid off..dad says he cant leave the house to just one of us,even know he knows the others have no job nor $ and 1 wants it sold...so can my mom 'leave' me her 'half? if so does dad half to know? I was told have her come off the house and put me on? again does he have to know? and my sister has been on his bank account for years, will this hold weight if a battle happens?? Thank u !

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    1. More than likely, your parents own their home as joint owners. It's really unusual to find married couples who own their home as tenants in common.

      If they are joint tenants, legally there are no halves. While they are both alive, both of them own the whole house. When one dies, the survivor owns the whole house.

      What this means for you is that your mother cannot leave you her half because there is no half. When properties are jointly owned, it doesn't matter what you put into your will because the deceased person no longer owns the house.

      If you find out that for some reason the house is held as tenants in common, this will mean that your parents each own half (or some other portion as described on the title). If this is the case, your Mom can leave you her half in her will. This is assuming that your parents don't live in a jurisdiction that has laws directing the ownership of a matrimonial home.

      If your Mom makes a will that leaves you the house, and she doesn't tell your Dad about it, then no I guess he won't know until she passes away and he finds out he doesn't own his home.

      If your parents are joint owners, then taking your Mom off the title and putting you on instead would have to be done with your Dad's knowledge.
      Before doing something like that, find out what the tax consequences would be for you (assuming you own your own home already).

      You also run the risk of a court action about the house, since the law in Canada says that property held in joint names between a parent and a child is NOT to pass to the child but is to be held in trust for the parent's estate. Therefore not only would you likely not get half the house, but you'd have to pay for a lawsuit too.

      No, your sister being on the bank account has nothing to do with it.

      I'm going to throw in a couple of comments here that you didn't ask for, but I think are important. Your family is doing a lot of off-the-cuff actions that are headed for trouble. Why does the house need to pass to the kids? Is there a good reason not to sell it? No matter what happens, the house should NOT pass to more than one of the kids because you will not be able to agree on the use of the house. Trust me on this. I've seen it a thousand times. Since your Dad doesn't want to leave it to just one, just sell it. Your parents should have wills that deal with the contents of the house and who gets what, then sell the house itself and divide the money.

      Your sister being on your Dad's bank account also concerns me. If he wants to give her the whole account when he dies, this arrangement is fine. But if he only has her on the account for convenience or ease of banking, he should be using a power of attorney instead.

      There seems to be a lot of home-made solutions being applied to legal issues with no advice and no real plan. It's heading for trouble. Your parents should see an estate planning lawyer to find out what options they have and how to achieve them.

      Lynne

      Delete
  31. Hi Lynne,

    I still own a property with my Ex wife, she is still living in the property, we split 12 years ago and we have been devoiced for 9 years now. In the 12 years since I have left I have paid my half of the mortgage and endowment (transferred direct to her bank each month). We verbally agreed that I would pay my half for 10 years while the kids were in school and then we would sell the property or for her to buy me out once the kids had left school. The kids left school 2012 and I have spent the last 2 years trying to sit down with her to discuss the sale of the house or for her to buy my half from me. She says she is always busy to meet or she says she is working out figures with friends before we meet.... it’s never going to happen. My question is... if I was to stop paying my half of the mortgage and endowment to force her to meet and to discuss would this affect my half of the property? Would I end up with less because I had stopped paying?

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  32. Hi Lynne,

    I would really appreciate your advice. My Mom left my sister and I the house after she passed away. We are tenants on common and the house is paid off. We do not get along and I have moved out. I would like her to either buy me out or sale the house, my sister does not want to do either of those options. What are my legal rights Do I need to get a lawyer and take her to court to force the sale?

    Thank you,
    Nicole

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lynne, I have the same question as Nicole. However I live in Quebec. Two brothers were simply willed the parents home, and no agreement has been formed between them. One brother does not have the means to by out the other, and is refusing to sell, to split the monies. Also, the one refusing has diagnosed mental health issues, and has attacked the other physically twice in the past few months, where police needed to be called, and he fears for his safety. Can he force his brother sell the house?

      Delete
  33. Thank you Lynne for such an informative blog. I wonder if you can answer a question on tenants-in-common.
    I purchase a house with my son and daughter-in-law where we both paid half the down payment, although ownership is 75/25% in their favor. I paid half the down payment as they could not come up with 75% payment. Neither could they qualify for a mortgage and so my sons mother-in-law stepped in as my tenant in common (as I could not qualify for the whole mortgage), but she did not invest any money into the deal. All of our agreements were verbal as this was my family. I occupy the basement apartment and as you can guess, the relationship between my son and I has broken down. The mother-in-law owns her own home and after two years of my son's family and I living in this house, the mother-in-law has changed the financial agreement that I had with my son and is asking me to pay more money monthly or move out. She wishes to buy me out offering me 25% of the equity built up in the house (which is not a lot) less the remaining mortgage, with no consideration for my down payment. I would like to know if this is a legal action on her part and am I obliged to sell.
    I am a handicapped senior living on a government pension and cannot afford to lose a substantial amount of my savings, although I desperately wish to get out of this commitment as my living conditions have become detrimental to my health. Thank You.

    ReplyDelete
  34. hi separeted from my wife her dad and i were 50 50 on the house he bought me out for way less the i should have got..land titles was transfered to his name but i still remain on the mortgage as he could not finance the house if i take my name off the mortgage what are my options and what is his thanks

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    Replies
    1. Hi. I don't practice real estate law, or divorce law, so I'm not going to be able to help you with this question. Sorry!

      Lynne

      Delete
  35. My brother and I co own a house that was left to us both and it is paid for. We split the taxes and bills. I want to move to town and rent an apartment and my brother will pay me half the value of the house, we are both happy with that. I was just wondering if I will have to pay a tax on what money I receive for my part of the house?

    ReplyDelete
  36. My mother and father owned a house together. My father gave his half of the home to my brother before his death. My mother didn't find out until after my fathers passing that this occurred. She paid for a lawyer to have them removed, and the lawyer just strung her along and she gave up without any answers. I'm gathering the house was jointly owned between my mother and father and not as tenants in common. How the lawyer made the change without my mothers knowledge is still a mystery. My mother left me her half of the home and now my brother, his common law wife and myself own the home. I'm not sure if it's jointly or tenancy in common. (how do I find that out?) My brother won't buy me out, as he wants all of the house and for me to sign it over to him. He won't sell either. He says well pay for a lawyer to get this going and see how much you have left afterwards, because I'll just sit back and wait. I know this is an expensive venture, but I don't want the house, they've let it run down, have no insurance on it, and it's just a liability to me. How do I force sale without courts? Can I also charge them to live in my half of the house as rent as they are residing there paying nothing?

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  37. My brother and I reached an agreement for him to hold my 50% share of ownership on a cottage in trust under his name. Now how do I register the trust on title? By the way, you're doing a wonderful job on your article helping people like myself and others.

    ReplyDelete
  38. My wife and I and my sister own some farmland.
    The title is registered with my wife and I listed as
    joint tenants of an undivided 1/2 interest and my sister is listed as having an undivided 1/2 interest.
    My wife and I have joint tenancy to provide for our interest transferring to each other in the event of death of either one of us. My sister's lawyer advises that we should have tenants in common which I don't understand. Our local land titles office here says the title right now meets our wishes, while my sister went to her local land titles office and they said it was wrong and agreed with her lawyer's advice to change to tenants in common. I want my wife and my interest in the property to be separate and apart from my sisters and so does she. Whose right?

    ReplyDelete
  39. hello Lynne, 4.5 years ago I paid $175,000.00 up front to pre-pay 1/3 of a house I bought with my (legal borrowers) mom, and my sister's husband. the 3 of us show as 1/3 owners each on the title deed. I am also on the mortgage even though I paid my share up front. But over the last 4.5 years my family has fallen apart (horribly). I want to sell the house my brother in law changes his stance on selling every week, and i haven't talked to my mom in 2 years. I want out completely, I want my money back (no more no less) and i want all legal ties to this property severed. I'm worried the house will foreclose or just get run into the ground in this situation, what are my options? I thank you for your consideration on this matter as I am stressed out to my limit. - from BC.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Question for you . . . what about a mobile home on leased land? There isn't a title. If one spouses dies with a significant amount of debt, would the mobile home need to be sold?

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  41. Joint Tenancy ? I separated with my spouse in June 2011, and we are just going to court now (may 25th 2105). I had the house appraised as of 2011 as I stayed in the matrimonial home. I sent the appraisal to her lawyer and he stated that since she is a joint tenant she is entitled to the value of the house as of 2015. I am unsure what the rule is pertaining to what date should be used for the house value. If her lawyer is correct and she is entitled to the current value would I be able to claim expenses for the house since 2011 since I was responsible for all such costs?... She has never asked for occupational rent and they were many offers to sever her name from the title to which she did not co-operate so I am not worried about paying occupational rent as she has never asked for it.. Thanks in advance

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  42. Hi Lynn! I find your blog very useful and your Alberta Probate Kit book has really helped a lot. A question I am now trying to have answered is the law in Alberta regarding tenants in common. I have inherited a commercial property with my siblings and some want out. Can they sell to whoever they want or are they first obligated to offer their share to me at fair market value? In any case, can you tell me what law governs this so I can show them the source. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi. I'm really glad you found the book helpful, and thanks for the feedback.

      As to your question, no. the other tenants in common do not have to offer it to you first. Each of you is considered to be a holder of a freehold title to a part of the property, with all of the rights of disposal that comes with freehold title. Rights of landowners are governed by the Law of Property Act of Alberta, which you can find at www.canlii.org.

      Lynne

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  43. Hi Lynne. My name is rick. I was given a house by my mom. She bought the house with money she got from my brothers death in a suit she won. It was supposed to be a rental property for her but she never found anyone to fix it for her. She bought the land then purchased the home elsewhere and moved it to the place its at now. It sat for a long while with no one in it. In conversation she and I had the house came up. She told me I could have it and not have to pay her a dime. I asked her twice just to make sure because I had no money to give her. She said no that I wouldn't have to give her money and all that she asked was that I never get a mortgage on the property or loose it in taxes. She handed me the keys and that was that. Being that she was my mom I didn't bother changing name on house deed because my wife and i needed every penny we came across to be for the home being that the house was gutted out, needed rewiring, and new plumbing. Nothing was connected to main lines on outside either. Between my wife and I, we fixed the home room by room. It took us a year to finish just the main home so my wife kids and I could move in about 2009. 2 years down the road she wanted to do the name change so myself my wife and my mom went. My wife and I paid fees as the lawyer asked my mom who it would be going to. She said it will be a gift to my son and only my son. About a month and a half later my wife picked up paperwork and it is then we found out my sisters name was added as well. I had no knowledge of any of that. Well it stayed that way up until 2013 when my sister tried moving her daughter in without me knowing. My family and i had moved to houston because i found a better job. All oir belongings were still in the home. Of course it started a big war between us. We have tried buying her out but its either not enough money for her or "she just doesn't feel like it". We have paid all taxes and repairs as we thought it was solely going to be mine. We just found out she has hired an attorney. We decided in January we would no longer pay taxes or any repairs because we want to save to buy a home and move out to not have any more problems. The home leaks in the inside in 3 rooms and has mold in those rooms as well. What can we do?

    ReplyDelete
  44. Thanks! What then is the difference between selling and "termination of co-ownership" as in section 15(1) of the Property Act of Alberta?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Section 15(1) of the Law of Property Act refers to a person going to court and asking the judge to sever the joint ownership.

      Lynne

      Delete
  45. Lynn, great blog. I have a question that's better suited to the "duties of an executor" blog, but there are more than 200 comments on the post.

    Question: My father has recently passed away (with a will) and named myself as the executor and beneficiary of most (95%) of the estate. I'm in the process off preparing an application for a certificate of appointment of estate trustee, and realized the deed for the house has both my father's and mother's name listed.

    My mother passed away over 10 years ago without a will. Her only asset at the time was joint ownership of the home. I'm familiar with the rules on how property will be distributed without a will (in Ontario).

    So the question is: What process to I need to follow. Do I need to first apply for certificate of appointment of estate trustee (without a will) for my mother's estate, and then proceed with the application for certificate of appointment of estate trustee (with a will) for my father?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Replies
    1. Lynn, after some research, I've believe my question has been answered. First, the title of the house was held with my mother and father as joint tenants. Moreover, it appears the title to the home can be transferred under the rules of the Ontario Land Registry system even though the property has been converted to the newer Ontario Land Title system. The reason for the old registry rules applying is that there has not been any other registration on the property since the initial conversion from the Land Registry system to the Land Titles system. The Land Registry rules do NOT require a "certificate of appointment of estate trustee" !

      Delete
  46. If co-trustees reach an impasse with regards to one buying the other out of an inherited house, and it goes into the hands of the court. Can the one who wanted to buy the house then come forward to the court appointed trustee and buy the house at a bargain basement price that is less than the amount that was being negotiated before communication broke down.

    ReplyDelete
  47. My mom has mental illness. Nine years ago my partner and I moved in with her so I could care for her full time. At that time her house was in her name only as it is her house. My mom had my name put on the house with hers just in case something happened to her. That way I would get the house automatically. My partner had/has no knowledge of this. He still believes the house is in her name only. She pays all her own mortgage payments and we have never paid anything on those. She also pays the maintenance on her own home. My partner and I split the utilities and other bills between us 50/50. He left me two months ago and is not staying with his parents at their house. He didn't want to continue paying for his half of everything per our agreement since he's not here any more but I insisted and he has continued. He also pays for half of our pets vet costs. Almost all of his belongings are still here. He still has a key and comes over to visit sometimes. He still gets all his mail here and has even slept over here twice since leaving. I was told that I should go and see a lawyer about a legal separation since we would be considered common-law. I was told that I would likely benefit from this since he makes a lot more money than I do. I quite possibly could end up with spousal support and be able to keep on his benefit package as long as I do not co-habitate with another man and he stays at the same place of employment. However, to do this I would have to go to a lawyer. My partner is stagnating and has no desire to go down any kind of legal route. I don't have anything for him to take and he will not want to give me anything of his (even though he has been able to save a lot of money thanks to our living situation with my mom, since he never had to pay any actual rent.) I made less money because my days are spent caring for my mother at her home. Should my mother take my name off of her house? If she doesn't, will my partner be able to go after a portion of her house since my name is currently on it? Only her name is on the mortgage. Since he has no plan to see a lawyer for anything, if we go to a lawyer and take my name off of the house and he eventually finds out, will he still be able to go after a portion of it once my name is wiped off or if a certain amount of time passes, will we be safe? I'm just not sure what I should do? I don't want my mother getting screwed over just because my name is on her home. Any info. on the matter would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    ReplyDelete
  48. We are four siblings and our father passed decades ago. When our mother bought her condo, she put one of us on as a 1% owner. My mother doesn't remember why. Her will leaves everything to us siblings to be divided equally. I know that her intention is for us to sell the condo and divide the proceeds evenly amongst us. How will this 1% ownership affect things?

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  49. Hi Lynne,
    This is my situation:

    I own a property with my now ex-sister in law (I am the registered owner as to an undivided 1/2 interest and so is she...not sure what that means but that's what the paper that the notary public did says). The mortgage is only under my name, not her. This was transfer was done about three years ago. I lived in the unit for the first year and paid for strata fees, mortgage, property taxes and utilities. I rented the unit in 2013 and have tenants living there right now. I am thinking about selling the unit because we don't really see eye to eye and I just don't want to be responsible for all the fees anymore. I have several questions:

    1. If I want to sell the unit, would I need her permission to sell?
    2. If we agree to sell, do we get equal shares of the profit even though I have been paying for everything?
    3. We don't have a contract that states what each person's responsibility is so when you are in a joint ownership, does that mean both parties are responsible to pay for property taxes, annual utilities, strata fees?

    My question is basically, if I ever do end up selling the place, is everything split half way or can I deduct all the amounts I have paid from her share and give her the remaining?

    Thanks for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hi Lynne,
    This is my situation:

    I own a property with my now ex-sister in law (I am the registered owner as to an undivided 1/2 interest and so is she...not sure what that means but that's what the paper that the notary public did says). The mortgage is only under my name, not her. This was transfer was done about three years ago. I lived in the unit for the first year and paid for strata fees, mortgage, property taxes and utilities. I rented the unit in 2013 and have tenants living there right now. I am thinking about selling the unit because we don't really see eye to eye and I just don't want to be responsible for all the fees anymore. I have several questions:

    1. If I want to sell the unit, would I need her permission to sell?
    2. If we agree to sell, do we get equal shares of the profit even though I have been paying for everything?
    3. We don't have a contract that states what each person's responsibility is so when you are in a joint ownership, does that mean both parties are responsible to pay for property taxes, annual utilities, strata fees?

    My question is basically, if I ever do end up selling the place, is everything split half way or can I deduct all the amounts I have paid from her share and give her the remaining?

    Thanks for your help!

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hi Lynne, I happened upon your blog. It is great! This is my situation My parents owned a old cottage on a small piece of land. (in NL) My father passed away three years ago and now my mother has not use for the property and wants to transfer it to me. I want to build a new cottage on the land, but I need to make sure I legally own it first. How do we go about this? Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi Lynne, I came upon your blog and it is great! I need a little help. My parents owned an old cottage on a small piece of land (in NL). My father passed away three years ago and now my mother wants to transfer ownership to me, as she now has no use for the cabin. I want to build a new cottage on the land but want to make sure I legally own the land first. How do we go about doing this? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm assuming for the purpose of answering this question that your Mom still has full mental capacity to make decisions about finances and property. If she does not, forget obtaining the land from her.

      The simplest way is for her to sell it to you. The price can be anything, but there are a few things to take into consideration:
      1 - make sure your Mom took your Dad's name off the title before she tries to do anything else with it. You'd be surprised how many widow(er)s don't take that step then wonder why they can't sell or gift the property.
      2 - the transfer of the property will be subject to capital gains tax whether she gives it to you or sells it to you. The cottage itself might not attract much tax but if the land has increased in value, it likely will attract tax.
      3 - if your Mom sells it to you for a low price to give you a break, she will still have to pay tax on the fair market value
      4 - I don't know whether you have other siblings, but if so, think about the impact on your Mom's estate. Does her will say to treat you all equally? Are the other kids going to be upset that you are getting a piece of land now and they're not? These are issues that can be worked out, but are best addressed before the change of ownership takes place so that your Mom is not blindsided by someone being upset, and so that there are no legal disputes with her estate.

      I recommend that your Mom have a chat with an estate planner before going ahead, and perhaps the two of you could talk to an accountant about the best way to deal with the taxes.

      Your question seems simple on the surface, but there is a lot that can stem from it, so I'm really glad to see that you're looking around for answers before proceeding.

      Lynne

      Delete
    2. Hi Lynne,

      We have a similar but not the same problem.
      My MIL passed away at the end of May 2015. My FIL is almost 94 and has come to stay with us. We have talked to him about selling the house and he is in agreement. I guess my question is, is there a problem if her name is still on the property. My husband was told to have her name removed and his name put on the deed but after going through the process my FIL said he wasn't going to sign because he said that once his sons name was on the property then he would be kicked out. That process cost us $2400 and nothing has come if it. A few days later he wanted to go and sign but we left it alone. But now that he has agreed to sell the house seeing that her name is still on the title will we have more of a problem selling the house now.
      1. Should we go ahead and have my MIL's name removed from title
      2. Should my husband's name be on the title along with my FIL
      2. Would that make things easier to sell the house or more complicated?

      My husband is the only sibling and our son are executors. They are also the beneficiaries.
      My husband has POA for financial and medical for both his parents.
      I hope I make some sense.
      I look forward to your reply.

      Delete
  53. Hi Lynne, thank you for your column and the opportunity to ask a question.

    I would appreciate your advice with a huge problem I put myself. 10 years ago I finished paying my daughter's mortgage (I ended up paying almost the entire mortgage, it was 30 years and I paid it off after 10 years) and they put me on the deed with them (my daughter and her husband), huge mistake!!! it is a 50/50 deed. After a lot of problems (Ex. renting the house and never receiving any income because they controlled everything) I managed to move in the house (they lived in another house) and I have been trying to get them to sell it with just fake promises and waste of time and effort on my part.

    I have other children, I though if I cannot recover my investment at least I put one of my son in the deed (I have read if I leave a will it wont work because is a 50/50 and one party will inherit the other regarding any will). Is that true? Also, can I do that, can I put my son as half owner with them?

    I am just tired of fighting with them to sell the house but I feel is totally unfair to benefit just one child, specially after I trust them and they just took advantage.

    Can you please give me some advice.

    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  54. hi,

    we are two partners in house i am with 33 percent share. now i am not living in house because we separated. even now i went there and my partners did not open door. now how can i go inside my home legally or i should have to take court orders to sell my share. there are some tenants live in basement on rent,
    thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since this is not an estate planning question and is not the kind of law I practice, I'm not going to be able to respond to this question. You need someone with some experience in family law or real estate law.

      Lynne

      Delete
  55. My sister and I purchased a home together over a year ago, I paid half the mortgage up front. she pays the balance, monthly. She was to sell her home at the time and move in. Over a year later she had yet to list her home and although she has some furniture in the new property most is still at her old home. She pays her share of the bills but does no upkeep inside or outside the home and hasn't set foot in it for over six months. As the house was built in 1867 and is over 5000 sq feet with a sizeable yard the upkeep is considerable. I live on the third floor, with three bedrooms, two baths living room and kitchen. My sister the second floor four bedrooms and a bathroom and we share the main floor. She shows no indication of moving in any time soon. What options do I have ? I am not able to afford hired help or keeping up the yard or exterior on my own. She does not agree to sell? Just says she is too busy. Can I sell a portion? Can I rent out a portion? Is there a time frame when her not residing in the home would cause me to take over the full title? I would do only to sell and share the profit with her. Any help you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi Lynne,

    Not sure if you can answer this. My mother put me in her house as she didn't qualify for the mortgage on her own. This was 9 years ago. I lived there for about 4 years And was kicked out, moved back in, then moved back out at my own will. Now, I would like to buy my own house but cannot as my name is on this mortgage. My mother is living in the house with her husband. Husband is not on the title:deed/mortgage and cannot be put in as he barely works and has bad credit. Mother won't qualify on her own unless she consolidates her debt. Her husband refuses to let her touch the equity to do this, which will get my name off of the house. Do I have any rights here?

    ReplyDelete
  57. Ok here's my question I'm asking for my mother in law ok same problem 4 siblings all have name on title to the house my mother in law has lived there for 30 years here mother past away 15 years ago since then she has paid everything on the house including repairs for the last 15 years with no money from the other 3 siblings . After 15 years they want her to sell so they can get there money from it is there a way she can fight this

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  58. I purchased the house for 4 years back with 99 percent share is mine while 1 percent share is for my brother ( mistakenly add by the lawyer). Is there any implication or can I sell this house on my own?

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  59. I co-own a house with my father, who has dementia now and is not understanding that this transfer is in place and is refusing to engage with me as his power of attorney (and executor.) I am concerned that there could be complications if the house is sold before he passes away. Will I be able to receive half payment of the proceeds from the house automatically upon sale?

    ReplyDelete
  60. When trying to do some financing through the bank recently, I found out that another name is still on the deed to my property. My husband and I bought the property from a couple in the States...the property is in New Brunswick. This property was left to them by their aunt.The couple's name is off the deed, my husband's name is off the deed because we parted ways. However the original owner...their aunt 's name is still there. She has been dead for over 40 years now. How do I go about changing this? I have owned this for over 30 years and have paid all the taxes each year. Help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a pretty unusual situation because normally when a property changes hands, the purchaser is given a clean title, which means all former owners are taken off of it. I have no idea how so many transactions took place without anyone taking the aunt's name off.

      I suggest that, if possible, you contact the lawyer who handled the sale from the couple to you, as there might have been a document to remove the aunt's name that was inadvertently not filed. This is a long shot given the time that has passed, but it's a place to start.

      Do some searches at the land registry in NB to get a full history of the ownership of the property from the time the aunt got it until now. It's worth going down there in person and talking with the registry people to see what ideas they may have based on your search results.

      I suspect that you are going to end up going to the court in NB and asking them to direct the land titles office to take the aunt's name off the title. You'll want a lawyer to help you with that, and make sure you take all of your searches with you so that you can show him/her the story of the property changing hands.

      Lynne

      Delete
  61. If a chattel, such as a mobile home, has two people's names registered on the Bill of Sale, with no indication of "jointly' or "joint tenants", does the law presume that each person owns 1/2. In my scenario, MH is owned my mother and daughter. Daughter dies. No husband. Her will says to her adult children. Mom is executor. So Mom would have signing authority for daughter's estate as per the will, but doesn't need to probate. Would the daughter's share go to the children, absent any other indicators?

    ReplyDelete
  62. Hi Lynne,
    Love your blog, very informative!
    Trying to help a situation...My parents are owners of a house that is fully paid off. Father left over 15yrs ago due to infidelity, but remained on the deed of the house as mother was very depressed and did not want to deal with it (mistake). Mother currently lives in the house, pays all the expenses, actually built an addition which increased the value of the house and does not want to sell. Father is trying to make her sell. Was wondering what rights my mother has when it comes to remaining in the house and not selling? Can my father sell his "half" without mothers consent? Any advice you would be able to offer would be greatly appreciated.

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  63. HI Lynne,
    My sisters and I own our deceased fathers house as owners. One sister will not sell..and will not buy us out. One sister is a criminal. Then there are me and my other sister who no longer want ownership...can we transfer our ownership to the sister who won't sell? We just are tired of all the fights, and don't want the liability of the home that is falling into disrepair. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi...Me and my father booked house 2 years before and we both are on title but his age is 70 now and no income so nobody is ready to give him mortgage now...house value is 530000 and in starting we give 40000 down and now I have to pay everything so how it will work..what share I and he will get in future if I will continue this deal..thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I assume that when you say "in future", you mean when your father passes away. If you are joint owners, when he dies, you will be the owner of the house. I don't believe that you will be caught by the new inter-generational joint property rules because you have been paying from the start.

      Since your father is alive now, and has mental capacity (as far as I know) then you and he can make whatever deal you want.

      Lynne

      Delete
    2. Thanks Lynne for replying actually my question is regarding share of me and my father because he don't want to pay into house now so what will be the share its full or depends upon initial payment if I will keep his name in mortgage without taking any money from him...thanks

      Delete
  65. Hi Lynne,
    My siblings and I just inherited my parents house. We are 7 children and cannot agree on a selling price. One of my siblings wants to purchase it , but only 4 of the remaining 6 can agree on a price.
    Does majority decide? Or since we cannot come to an agreement are we forced to place it on the market ?

    ReplyDelete
  66. Hello Lynne,
    My sister and I bought a house together. I'm ready to sell the house but she isn't. Is there a way I can buy my share out without having to sell the house?

    ReplyDelete
  67. My gradfather left a plot of land to 12 kids in his Ontario estate (last asset). The estate deeds and town actions hold right of way that may not transfer to a new title holder so I would like to preserve the estate. The estate trustee is the oldest child now 92. I would like to buy out the 12 beneficiaries (who would love to sell). How do I get the beneficiaries to release their rights to the estate?

    I would also like to do a transfer of estate trustee to me. I suspect that I should do the buyout first leaving my dad to avoid trustee conflict of interest with the siblings. Is that possible?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You cannot do a transfer of estate trustee without the consent of a judge. The estate trustee was chosen by your grandfather in his will, and is executor for life. If he wants to give it up because he is 92, he can ask the court to remove him, which involves passing his accounts to date. If there is an alternate executor named in the will, that person has the next right to take over the estate. So, it may be possible, but it's not just an administrative detail.

      It sounds as if the land is still in the name of the estate, which is not a great idea as beneficiaries age. Once they begin to pass away or lose capacity, this all gets much harder. You can make written buy-out agreements (simple ones will be fine) with individual beneficiaries to buy their shares at fair market value. In exchange for your purchase funds, they can sign an assignment of their share of the title to you.

      Lynne

      Delete
    2. Thank you for your advice. The executor is my aunt (at 92) and the alternate executor was my uncle who passed away at 88 last month. I better hurry because I want to do the buy out first to avoid potential issues with executor conflict of interest. We have an offer on the land which sets the price. It has lots of conditions so I can better it my meeting the cash offer without conditions.

      Delete
  68. This is exactly what happened to me, My grandmother (My adopted mother, I have no other parents) left the house in my name and I've been paying everything for the last 4 years since I was 17 years old now I am 21 years old and her 3 other children are jealous and manipulated their way to get their name on my grandmother and I joint tenancy. Now they want everything and want to pay for nothing while I can't even afford braces or college because Im paying for "everything" while they sit on their ass. . . . . . And my grandmothers plans were to make sure I was able to live my own life, now I am literally legally forced to pay for this place I can't sell while I have crackheads living here. Honest story Im still going through this as I'm typing this. Im broke completely paying for everything just sold some rims I had and my only TV.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you can prove that they manipulated their way onto the title, you can have them removed from the title. Fraud is fraud, even if it's someone's own family member. Unfortunately, it costs money to enforce rights, and that's going to be your stumbling block.

      Lynne

      Delete
  69. Great page...and a lot to take in.
    The initial post caught my eye but I'm missing something so let me explain my situation.
    My elderly mother owns the family home 100% (no mortgage).
    Approx. 4 years ago my unemployed brother moved back into her home and since being there has made roots there in a big and messy (hoarder) way...all while paying NO rent/room and board, not working, etc. etc....basically a bum (sorry for the expression).
    In my mom's will she states that in the event of her death he can continue to live there for 1 year. After that one year the home is to be sold and the money divided between her 5 sons. If one of the sons wants to buy the home they are to pay the other 4 their share of the home (based on fair market value of the house).
    Hope that makes sense.
    NOTE: their is already BIG discontent between the 4 brothers with the 1 living there.

    So my question is...if you want parents to "...stop leaving their house to all of their children jointly." What should they do to make sure all their children get their portion of the house? What should the will say? Should we all be joint tenants on the house now...prior to my mother's passing?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any feedback available about this? I'm in a similar situation.

      Delete
    2. I'm curious about this one as well. Any chance for an answer?

      Delete
  70. I have learned so much!!!!
    And I also have a question. My husband and his ex wife divorced about 13 years ago. He left the matrimonial home to her because of children. She has been paying him off for his portion of the home at $200 per month. We just learned that she sold half of the home to her new boyfriend back in 2008. In the divorce it states that my husband would get the remaining amount if she dies or sells the home. My question is "what constitutes a sale?" She technically didn't sell the whole house, just half.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Hi,I need an advice on how to handle my property situation. I also live British Columbia.

    My self and my brother bought a property together 8 years ago. My brother never made this house his main residence but had his mails coming here until 6 months ago im not sure if that matters. Me on the other have been living here for the last 7 years. My brother is letting me to buy him out. We agreed to a $100,000 buy out. My question is what is the best way of getting the money to him as whole 1 lump sum paymemt without getting double taxed. I remortgaged the house to this 100k. At the end i just need me and wife in the title and go the safest way so that we don not get taxes later. Thank you very much for your help.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hi Ms. Butler,
    Great blog. I've been a fan for some time, and now I'm in need of your sage advice.
    My wife's father added both her and her adult sister to his house title 5 years ago. he passed away in 2015. The 2 sisters inherited his 1/3rd share and then sold the house in 2015. I am the "tax preparer" in our family, but I am unsure of how to handle this transaction on our tax return(s). We live in Alberta and the house in question was in Alberta as well. Help? I would be very appreciative. Thank you for sharing your knowledge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really think you should ask this of an accountant rather than a lawyer. We're actually not allowed to do tax returns for clients, and that's because we don't know the tax ins and outs like accountants do.

      Lynne

      Delete
    2. Hi Lynne, thank you for responding. I ended up doing this on my own after a lot of reading. Here is how I handled it:

      I asked the selling realtor to provide an estimate on the value of the house at the time of the daughters being added to the title. I then calculated the appreciation on the property at time of sale. The difference was then divided by 1/3 to arrive at the capital gain that my wife was required to pay tax on. I included a "flowchart" and filed her taxes on paper. The CRA seems to have agreed with my methodology, as we received the assessment as a zero balance. Crossing my fingers! Keep up you fine blog, Lynne. We all need you!

      Delete
  73. I currently own a house with my 2 brothers and my sister. I'd like to use the money from the share of my house to purchase another house. I'd like to know how I can get the money if my brothers already have mortgages for other houses that they own and my sister has very bad credit. Is there a way I can get my money if they don't want to sell? I live in ontario.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Hi Lynne, your blog is very informative and certainly helps us grasp some of these often complicated issues...

    I have a bit of particular situation that I'm trying to understand. My grandfather passed away recently and left his house to my mother and uncle (is only two children), basically "50/50" or equally owner. needles they don't always get along, and complications have arisen... the core of the issue is that my mother has been living in the house for 40 some years as a tenant on the upper floor of the house, but no official lease, or actual rent for most of those 40 years as my grandfather would not allow it, despite my mother trying to. now it seems my uncle would move into the lower unit (my grandfather's residence) and my mother would stay in the upper unit were she already resides. does this have any consequence in terms of their joint ownership? or legally deciding up the property? technically the lower unit represent a bit more then 50% of the house... also how would the capital gain tax be handled in such situation, as I understand the place of residence is not subject to capital gain tax, but only half the home was my grandfather's residence... Thanks for any help/advice in understanding this mess...

    ReplyDelete
  75. Hi Lynne,
    my father recently passed away leaving my sister and I both 50/50 in the will as well as both executors. My father owned his principal home and had added both my sister and I to the title of this home. He also owned a rental property in his name only. I know he had always hoped that my sister and I would take one property each...wishful thinking! Of course my sister and I don't even like each other. In any case my question is this, can I buyout my sister on both properties if she doesn't want to purchase either (if I get an appraisal for the value? She doesn't want to purchase the properties but doesn't want me to be able to purchase them either? Do I have first right of refusal?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If your father wanted you to take one property each, then why on earth didn't he say so in his will? What sense does it make to have a will that doesn't say what you really want? A real pet peeve of mine!

      There is no legal reason why you cannot purchase the properties. If you and your sister cannot agree on a sale to you, even with appraisals (and yes, appraisals are a must in this situation) then I suggest trying to mediate the issue. If that doesn't work then you two can just blow your inheritance fighting with each other in court. And please do present it to her that way, because to refuse to sell to you on principal is just childish.

      No you do not have a first right of refusal on property owned by her or by the estate.

      Lynne

      Delete
  76. Hi, my parents and my sister and I have a joint tenancy agreement on the home that my sister lives in with her husband.

    Unfortunately, my sister has terminal cancer and will not live much longer. When she passes the title of the house will then, as I understand it, be in three people's names, namely my parents and me.

    My question is, what do we do about her husband? He has never worked and cannot afford the mortgage, my sister has always supported him. My parents are retired and cannot support him, nor can I. Evicting him seems harsh but we can't think of any other solution.

    We are in Ontario.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hello Lynne,
    Your blog is a real eye-opener for me ! Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Here's my situation:

    My mother is the sole owner of $260k cottage (no mortgage) in the Laurentians. Cottage was originally bought for $7000. She wants to donate/sell it to my brother and I. After reading everyone's stories, I realise this will probably not work out.

    My mother is 80 and has about 200 000 of savings, plus life insurance.

    I'd like to buy and I am looking for a fair arrangement for my brother.
    1-Do you have suggestions?
    2-If I buy the cottage for a friendly price, say $150k, how does it change your suggested arrangements? [I am aware there will be a high capital gain tax and that the friendly price won't change that, but getting in debt in order to give $250k to my mother to then inherit it in 10 years seems strange]

    Many thanks,
    s.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Lynne.

      My spouse and I purchased a house together with my mother. The intention was she would live on the main floor and we would live in the basement. Title shows my spouse and I as Joint Tenants with a 50% interest and my mom as a Tennant in Common with a 50% interest.

      My mom has since changed her mind and purchased another home for herself, so my spouse and I would like to own 100% of the property. My mom is in agreement.

      What are our options? I assume we can buy her half as a real estate transaction. But what about the "value" of her 50%? And what about having my mom will her 50% to us? (she would do that as well)

      I would like to know the best way to do this. We are in Ontario.

      Thanks in advance.
      Peter

      Delete
  78. Hi Lynn, Your comments are very valuable and I learn so much reading your blog!

    My husband and I are going to buy a house and thinking ahead on estate planning as well. We are debating on Joint Tenant or Tenant-in-Common. As no one knows what is going to happen in the future (accidental death or divorce), we would like to ensure that our property will go to our children instead of the spouse if one of us died/remarried. Does it make sense that we should go with tenant-in-common and have our children to be the beneficiary in the will? What are the risks for tenant-in-common ownership?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Before you make any decisions about that, check to see whether you live in a province in which the matrimonial home carries rights that would override a will or a title arrangement. For example, where I live in NL, no matter whose name is on the title, a married spouse gets the house when one spouse dies.

      You haven't said how old your children are. If you hold your home as tenants in common and one of you passes away, the share of the deceased spouse would go to minors. Their name can't be put on the title so their half would have to be held in trust by the executor until they came of age. That's probably an inconvenience you don't want.

      If the spouse wants to sell or mortgage the home while half of it is held in trust, he or she can be prevented from doing so by the executor.

      If the children are adults and you own it as tenants in common, you may create a tax problem for the kids. If they have their own homes but also own half of yours, when yours is sold they will pay capital gains tax on their half.

      Does leaving your estate to your children HAVE to mean leaving the house to them? If your goal is to ensure that something goes to them, why not explore other possibilities such as naming them as beneficiaries of a life insurance policy?

      Lynne

      Delete
  79. I plan on buying out my sister's share of the jointly owned property we inherited from our mother. In making an offer, I'd like to subtract from the value a commission fee (that I'd have to pay a real estate agent when I sell in the future). In Ontario, am I within my legal rights in doing this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're within your rights to suggest any contractual terms that you think the other party will accept. But seriously, why the heck would anyone agree to pay a realtor's commission on a future sale that might not ever take place? Just sounds plain greedy on your part, to be honest.

      Lynne

      Delete
  80. Hello, do you take questions on jointly owned property in British Columbia? My brother and I jointly inherited our father's house in 2014. As he is not a person of strong means, I've allowed him to live there, rent free but I guess since we each own 100%, I couldn't charge him anyway. He is supposed to pay all house related bills, which he has been doing. However, he has discovered that when he turns 55 he can defer payment of property tax. He is quite happy about this and likely never intends to pay them again. I have not inquired with the municipality and I should have, but I imagine any unpaid taxes are due and payable upon sale of the residence before the deal could be finalized. Are there any steps I should take to protect myself and my wife as we are not confident in him being the resident. Fortunately, he has no interest in taking in renters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suggest that you ask this question of a real estate lawyer because this is not within the area of law that I practice. Sorry I can't help.

      Lynne

      Delete
  81. Hello I wonder if you can give me some guidance here... my father & mother + uncle owed land as tenants in common. Father filed for bankruptcy so his share is now owned by bankruptcy trustee. Then Uncle died and father became his estate trustee. If I want to buy the land can i buy out the bankruptcy trustee i.e. pay for father's share? is there a danger that bankruptcy trustee can block sale and even sell entire property to someone else? Thanks for your time

    ReplyDelete
  82. Hello!
    My dad bought a house a few years ago, and the house is under his name and my name. In a few months, I will get married and move out. And me and my fiancé are looking to buy a newer house later. I want my name off of my dad's house (and mine!), what should I do? I live in Ontario. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The two of you sign a transfer of land from two names into one and register it at the land registry.

      Lynne

      Delete
  83. hi, i am very lost as what i should do. my husband has a joint mortgage with a friend. his friend and his family live upstairs and my husband and i were living downstairs. we had a kid and i needed to move out because a basement isnt a very good place to raise and family.. there were many other reasons to move out. we had moved to an apartment under the agreement that we were going to get the house ready to sell or have the co-owner buy us out. well its been almost a year now and he doesnt want to sell the house and he cant pay us out because the banks say no. i was recently in the house to move more stuff out and the basement has mold around most outer walls. This doesn't surprise me because while we lived there we were sick pretty often. (another reason to move) basically i am curious as to what our options are in this situation?

    ReplyDelete
  84. Hi,
    I have a question about tenants in common.
    My brother and i purchased a house 2years ago when In order to get a favorable mortgage, he had my name assume 1% each of the ownership, while he took on 98% and all mortgage payments. I am now trying to sell the house and purchase another property. However, his wife does not like and has refused to sign the paperwork.

    Can they block the sale of the house? Or is there any other way to deal with this issue without taking them to court?

    Pls can you reply ASAP?

    ReplyDelete
  85. Hi,

    My Aunt recently passed. She had 3 brothers, however one if them (my Father) passed years ago. This oast week, my uncle visited me advising to contact a lawyer he'd been in communication. When I contacted the lawyer, she explained because my Aunt had no kids and never married, I've inherited 1/3 share of the house(which one uncle still lives in) because there was not a Will. However, she went on to say that this was a mistake and she will be in contact for me to sign some document(s) because it should not have been done that way. Sounds very strange. There was no mention of any other assests, just a house. Since I now inherit my father's share, wouldn't that also include bank accounts, insurance policies, etc? I do not believe all information was being disclosed to me about this situation other than the mention of the house.

    ReplyDelete
  86. We have a strange situation and I am not sure how to handle it. Can you help? My MIL passed away a few years ago. My FIL was living in their home but the home was in her name. He has now moved to an old age home. My SIL is the executor of my MIL's will. The home was left to the Estate (her 3 children) but is responsible to support her husband, my FIL, until he dies. My SIL wants to sell the family home and invest the money so he can live off the interest insuring an inheritance for the 3 children. My husband and I want to buy the property at its assessed value from the estate but my SIL insists on listing it and won't even let us have first right of refusal. Is she allowed to sell the house without the agreement of the other 2 siblings? How do we come to a fair market value when it is not a property with any real comparables and we have 2 assessments at quite different amounts (theirs and ours).

    Legally, do we have the right to stop her from listing the property? The other 2 siblings want to sell but they a) won't take our offer based on our assessment as they think they can get more and b) they won't list and let us have 1st right of refusal.

    Please help!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the executor can sell the property without the agreement of the siblings. Only one person is the executor, and that person has the discretion to sell the assets in the way they believe is best for the estate. In real life, most executors try to work with the beneficiaries, but they have no obligation to give a right of first refusal or to agree to a price if they believe they can do better. From the executor's point of view, this is a lose-lose. If they don't let you buy the property, you're upset with them. If they do let you buy the property, the others are upset with them. However I really think in this case you mistakenly believe you have more rights than you actually have.

      Lynne

      Delete
  87. Price of buy out. Ex wants to sell co-owned apartment which we rent out at the moment, I want to buy.
    Themarket price is quite high at the moment and we bought it way cheaper. I want to make him an offer that is somewhere in between. Since we had our tenant pay all our mortgage he would make money either way. Can he force a sale to a third pary for premium price through a broker or do I have a "RIGHT" to buy to my medium price? I am thinking of living there and make it my primary residence.

    ReplyDelete
  88. My brother just put my mother on his home as an owner. A question brought up to me by another family member was. Do you get your moms half when she dies? So I guess that's the question I need answered. Do I have any legal rights to my moms half if we are both executors to the will. Father has passed on over a year ago.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Char,
      Your question raised an awful lot of questions for ME, such as why your brother put your mom on his house title in the first place. Did she buy part of it from him?

      My next question is whether she and your brother are now joint owners, or whether they are tenants-in-common. If they are joint owners, then on your mother's death the whole house will belong to your brother. But from your question, I assume that he was originally the owner of the whole thing anyway.

      If they are tenants-in-common, your mother's share will become part of her estate and will go the beneficiaries she has named in her will.

      Being an executor does NOT give anyone any right to receive property.

      Lynne

      Delete
  89. Yes he was the original home owner. My mom lives there. Has for about 5 years paying half the mortgage with my father. Brother lived with his girlfriend. Broke up came back to live there. They were and still are pretty hush hush about why he did it and she don't know what she is. Owner or tenant. All I know is last month he took her to the lawyers and had her name put on the deed. And no. No money was paid to him other than half for rent.

    ReplyDelete
  90. I think it pretty awful that I cannot leave my half of my family home to who I wish upon my death. I certainly don't want my husband to get it. Apparently if the home is jointly owned, the surviving spouse gets the home. That really rubs me the wrong way. I DON'T want him to enjoy MY half of the home. He did bugger all to help,with the upkeep, so why should he reap the rewards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are rights that arise when you marry someone, and that happens to be one of them. It's a legal contract, after all, no matter how much people say it's all about being in love.

      Lynne

      Delete
  91. Hello, i am considered a tenant in commom where my partner owns 85% of the home and I own 15% of the share. Does this mean the the 85% shareholder must pay 85% of the mortgage and I pay 15% of the mortgage? Does this also work with additions/alterations to the property? how about Hydro,Phone,TV, Internet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not necessarily. The two owners of a property can come to any agreement they like as to who pays what. Also, the mortgage will only be payable in those proportions if for some reason it is written right into the mortgage agreement. Most likely such agreement just says that the money is being advanced to the two of you and that the two of you must repay it. Better check the agreement.

      Lynne

      Delete
  92. 2 sisters and brother in law purchased a house for $480,000, six years ago. One sister paid the downpayment of $25,000 and legal fees was paid by all parties. A verbal agreement was reach that each sister would pay 1/2 of mortgage bi weekly not 1/3. The property tax and utilities was divided in half not 1/3's.
    Sister who lived in basement went on holidays and lock the door, brother in law broke into suite and destroyed the door. Spare key was on landing but brother in law forcefully entered premises without a written noticed. Brother in law and sister stated that her suite was a common area. Sister who lives downstairs decided to sell her share to the other sister. The sister who made the initial downpayment, stated she will give the overpayment on the mortgage and property tax instead of the value of the house.
    City assessment is $780,000
    House is bought at $480,000
    Being pay for the last 6 yrs mortgage and property
    Tax 1/2 then in 1/3.
    Houses sell for $800,000 to over a million.
    Property is the biggest lot on the street.
    What can I do?

    ReplyDelete
  93. Hello:

    I am recently retired and collecting a pension. I have just sold my cottage (it was in my name only). I owned the cottage for 15 years and sold it for $55 k more than the original purchase price. It was never rented out and any upgrading was minimal and I don’t have any receipts anyway.

    I also own a home as my principle residence - joint ownership with my common-law wife that was purchased 2 years after the cottage purchase.

    I was wondering if I can avoid some or part of capital gains tax from this cottage sale?

    I apologize if this is a duplicate... added some detail to the second entry.

    Thank-you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm no accountant, but I know of people who have claimed the cottage as the principal residence and therefore incur no capital gains tax. You can choose which of the homes is your principal residence.

      Another possibility is to use exemptions or deductions to reduce the tax owing. When there is a gain of $55,000 half of that - or 27,500 - is added to your tax return as income. You then do everything you can to reduce your income through deductions etc.

      If you know an accountant, this would be a good person to discuss it with.

      Lynne

      Delete
  94. My brother and I were left our parents home and we signed as joint tenants. We do not have a mortgage. We have lived together in it for 20 years and I moved my boyfriend in with me about 10 years ago..not the best experience but how it is. He plans to be married next year at 59 for the first time. He has told me we have to sell and I would like to stay but not buy him out at this time as I cannot afford it. I can cover the house costs with my boyfriend to stay in the house. My boyfriend and I have done all repairs and do everything as my brother does nothing and just complains like he is the boss as he is a total narcissist. He even insisted my boyfriend pay for 1/3 of the new roof because he lives with me in a house he does not own. Do I have to sell because he says so??? Or can I live in it until I die as was the agreement to keep it in the family as my parents would have wanted. We have no other living biological relatives and neither of us has children of our own and my boyfriend is fine with this. All the furniture and appliances belong to my boyfriend and I as he bought nothing. I know it will be a fight but do not care and could care less if he never speaks to me again as he has emotionally,sexually as a young child, physically and verbally abused me all my life. I personally, would just like him out!!! His wife to be already owns a home and will not move so he will be moving there as she has her mother living with her and my brother insists the mom should move out even though she is not in good health and elderly and was made an inlaw suite in the home which was part of the divorce settlement. With joint tenancy...do I have to sell because he says so now or does until one dies still stand???? Please help me with this question in Ontario, Canada. What are my rights or where can I go for more info????PLEASE answer this for me!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Hi Lynn,
    I have a complex situation.
    I am 1/4 owner of the condo I reside in.
    I've managed the property in previous 5 years while it was rented out, along with paying all property tax renovations and fees along the way. 5 years ago my grandpa( 1/4 owner) passed away and my aunt(not an owner) now acquired his share as the estate of Arnold. Then 2 years later my gramma went into bankruptcy and is not being released. If I wanted to sell the condo would all profits go toward her bankruptcy? If so, Am I able to buy out her share even though she's still In bankruptcy? Or can I just pull out the equity to pay myself back for all expenses over the years?
    Thank you!
    Feeling stuck!

    ReplyDelete
  96. Hi Lynn,

    My question is the following:

    My husband and my father in law own that house that my father in law lives in presently. One day when my father in law passes we will have to sell the home and I was wondering if my husband will have to declare capital gains on the property?

    ReplyDelete

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