I live in Oregon and own a 1/4 share of some property with my three siblings. I'm getting married in September and one of my sisters is insistent that my fiancé sign a prenuptial agreement stating that if we divorce he won’t demand half of my share of the property or if I die my share of the property will be inherited by any remaining siblings rather than by my husband. Two of my siblings were married when we bought the property and their spouses’ names are not included on the title to the property but there isn’t any kind of legal document declaring that the property will be inherited by the remaining siblings (rather than the spouse) if one sibling dies. I feel it would be unfair to ask my fiancé to sign this kind of agreement unless the spouses of my siblings are held to the same type of agreement.
I would like to know what kind of document we need our spouses to sign to insure that the living siblings inherit the property rather than a spouse or children of the sibling who has died.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Co-ownership of real property can often create sticky situations between the owners. When you and your siblings first purchased the property, you should have had some kind of partnership agreement. This agreement would address the ownership issue you are bringing up here as well as answering other questions about the operation of the property.
The question of inheritance can be addressed in several ways. There are many ways that this can be addressed: (1) you can each have a will that determines who receives your share of the property if you die, (2) you can address survivorship in the title to the property, and (3) you can own the property in some kind of entity and address who is able to own shares in the entity. There are other ways as well. Having your finance sign a prenuptial agreement will not give your siblings your interest in the property upon your death.
This is not the kind of issue where you should rely on an internet posting to make such a determination. You need legal advice addressing your specific situation. If you are having these issues regarding the property, you really need to consider a partnership agreement (or form another entity) to handle all management and ownership issues relating to the property.
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