I am a single adult who owns a home in AZ. My partner is on the deed but I am alone on the mortgage. I would like to leave the home to her son, who is an adult but my partner is concerned that my adult siblings would have a claim on my property if we were either die together or if she survives me, the home could be claimed by my adult siblings. Do my adult siblings have any claim in my estate if not assigned to them in a will?
2 Answers from Attorneys
If the property is titled in joint tenancy with right of survivorship, your partner will receive your half interest automatically upon your death. If it is titled as tenants in common, and you have not made a will designating the beneficiary of your interest in the property, your half of the property will pass to your legal heirs through probate. If you want to leave the property to your partner's son, rather than to your partner, you will have to take some action, but what action depends on how you currently hold title. You should contact an attorney to ensure that the property will pass as you wish.
Your brothers and sisters would have a right to inherit your estate, if you die without leaving a valid Will. A valid Will controls who will inherit your estate in the event of your death, and there is no obligation to leave any relative, any part of your estate. It is important to know how title is held between you and your partner, if it is in joint tenancy with right of survivorship, the surviving joint tenant is the sole owner, without regard to what your Will may provide. Ownership may be transferred by "operation of law" and not subject to the provisions of your Will.
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