Legal Question in Elder Law in Michigan

My grandfather signed a quick claim deed to add my name to the deed to his house, but his will still states that my uncle and I are to split the estate in half. Can my uncle force me to pat him half of what the house is worth or take it when my grandfather dies? Should my grandfather consider changing the will if he wants me to have the house?

Asked on 8/26/14, 5:21 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Glenn Matecun Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC

The answer depends on how the quit claim deed is worded. If the quit claim deed says "Grandfather and Grandson, as joint tenants" (or as "joint tenants with full rights of survivorship" or similar language), the property will be owned 100% by the survivor of you or your grandfather. So, if your grandfather dies, you own the entire property.

If the quit claim deed says "tenants in common", you will own 1/2 the property even after your grandfather dies. The other 1/2 would be distributed per the Will, 1/2 to you and 1/2 to your uncle. So you would then own a 3/4 interest in the property and your uncle would own 1/4.

Regardless of how the deed is worded, your grandfather should consider revising his Will to make sure his intent is clear, which will reduce the likelihood of fighting after he is gone. Depending on the relationship, he may also tell your uncle so that there is no misunderstanding. He should have an estate planning attorney review his Will and the deed to make sure it meets with his intent. Good luck.

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Answered on 8/26/14, 7:07 pm

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