Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

I bought a home with my father and husband last year. The deed reads all 3 of us as grantees of the home as tenants by the entirety. Can we just have my dad removed from the deed and it becomes ours? The will states my brother and I are to split the residuary estate (which is nothing but a few small life insurance policies) 50/50. Does he have any rights to the home? Pennsylvania question

Asked on 2/23/18, 2:40 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Miriam Jacobson Law Offices of Miriam N. Jacobson

"Tenants by the Entirety" may only be used by husband and wife; it just doesn't work among 3 co-owners. So I'm not sure what kind of tenancy might exist as among you, your father and your husband. Only your father can have himself removed from the deed, by signing a deed conveying his interest to you and your husband. A third party ( that means anyone other than the person who owns all or part of a property) cannot "remove" or convey an interest in property.

If you are referring to your father's will - is your father still living, or has he died? If he has died, his interest in the property, whatever it is, may be deemed to be as tenant in common with you and your husband, who might hold as tenants by the entirety (I'm just guessing here, because some did a poor job of drafting that deed). In that case, your father's interest will pass as part of his estate, which must be administered. The will must be probated, and if it does not refer to the real estate, the real estate interest is part of the residuary. Your brother's 50/50 interest with you would be in your father's share of the home. If your father's interest is deemed to be as a joint tenant with right of survivorship with you and your husband, it would terminate upon his death, and the property would become solely yours and your husband's. All of this is purely theoretical, because of the way the deed is worded.

If your father is still living, this is a perfect opportunity to clarify the title of the home, by the three of you signing a new deed OF CORRECTION, to be prepared by a real estate lawyer whom you three should consult and discuss the various forms of title and the implications of each type of tenancy before preparing and recording the new deed. That will simplify title and title issues later on.


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Answered on 2/24/18, 10:19 am

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