How do I buy my sister out of our parent’s house on mortgage where both of us are named as beneficiaries? 19 Answers as of March 19, 2014

Our father passed away in 2011, my sister and I are named as beneficiaries to the house I have lived in and paying the mortgage note for 23 years. We have agreed that I should buy her out. How and where do I start the process?

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Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
It is not as simple as getting an appraisal and then given her 1/2 of that amount. You might have some right to credit or reimbursement for all the mortgage payments you made. There is a question as to whether it was a gift or you intended to be paid back at some time. The property has to go through probate for the title to change to you and your sister. You probably need to see a probate attorney for an hour consultation to figure out what the situation is. Your can read sections from some probate books written for the lay person, such as from Nolo Press, so that you know what questions to ask the probate attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/19/2014
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Assuming you can get clear title, you agree on how much you should pay her and how you are going to pay it. She signs over the house and you pay her. The loan could be secured by the house.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 3/19/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
A bit complex for this forum; please see a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/19/2014
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
It sounds like the house is still in your father's name. First, you need to have the county probate court issue a certificate of transfer putting the house in your name and your sister's name as "tenants in common". Then you need to make a deal with your sister to pay her for her 1/2 the house and she'll issue a deed to you for that 1/2.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 3/18/2014
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
First you should have an appraisal of the property to determine the value of her share of the property. Second, you will need to obtain the services of a probate lawyer to finalize the title into your name by court order.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/18/2014
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    First of all, is your father still the deed owner to the property? Was the property held in trust? If not, you will need to file probate to be able to transfer the property to anyone. If your sister agrees to your buying her out, you will need an agreement in writing for the terms that you agree on. In both instances, you should consult with a local probate attorney for assistance.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    C Page Hamrick Attorney at Law | C Page Hamrick
    You can purchase your sister's interest in the property and she would execute a deed to you, which would be recorded in the local county clerk's office. You probably need to have the deed prepared by an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Depends on how you mean "beneficiaries." If you and your sister are devises in your last-surviving parent's will. Or if there was no will and you are heirs at law, then you need to probate the estate of the second of your parents to die. If the house was held in trust, then the trustee can handle the transaction for you. Getting legal advice to help with this situation is a very good idea; it may save you money over all, and may preserve your family intact.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Law Office of Jeffrey T. Reed | Jeffrey T. Reed
    I assume the house is still in your father's name? If so you will need to go through the probate court to get your name on the deed. In the mean time you can buy out your sister and she can release her interest to you when you go to court. You might want to get her to sign a Quit Claim Deed just there's a problem in court. If you need to make payments to her you could also record in-case a second deed of trust against the house after you get title until she is paid off. You should also talk to the lender to see what their requirements will be when you change owners. Be careful when you approach the lender, this may create a new set of problems for you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    You get an appraisal for the house and divide by two. Then you get a Quit Claim Deed and have her gift her share over to you. You file the Quit Claim with the recorder's office.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    Is your mother still alive? If so, she has an interest in the real property. Depending upon the total value of your father's estate, you may need to probate your father's estate. Contact a probate attorney to discuss your options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    A lawyer would probably be a big help. The lawyer can draw up an agreement between the two of you and help you to prepare a deed for your sister to sign. You do not say HOW you and your sister are named as beneficiaries. If it was done by Will, then you would need to go through probate to get title. If it was done by deed, then the deed should be reviewed by the lawyer. It may be as simple as your sister signing a deed over to you in exchange for the agreed upon price.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    I suggest you go to a local real estate attorney. You will need to figure out what the house is worth, what you have paid on it (only principle should count), subtract that amount from your half from the value and pay your sister half of the remainder. She may or may not agree and you may have to pay her a little more to get the deal done. When you have the amount figured out, the attorney can prepare an agreement of sale and then the deed for her to sign over to you. I would imagine that a quitclaim deed would be sufficient.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    First step see an attorney. It depends if the property was in trust or just your father's name. If a trust, the trustee can work with you (and an attorney) to open escrow and transfer the title. If the property is in your father's name, you will need to go through probate.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    By conferring with an attorney. The process will depend on the present titling of the residence.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW
    CARL C SILVER ATTORNEY AT LAW | Carl C Silver
    Establish an amount and go to the bank.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    The house must be transferred out of your father's estate to the named beneficiaries. Your sister then executes a deed transferring her interest in the house to you in return for an agreed compensation.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Determine a fair price for the property, either the county assessor's value or an appraiser's estimation of value, and adjust for any expenses you have paid on the property since your father's death and the benefit you received by living there. Once you have agreed upon a price, have your sister sign off on the deed in exchange for your payment to her. Then register the documents with the county recorder. It's helpful to have someone who's done this before help you with the process.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/18/2014
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
    Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
    Sounds like a straightforward process assuming you and your sister are joint owners at this time. Although, there may be a requirement to re-finance the home at the time you transfer ownership (this will depend upon the terms of the mortgage agreement). In this circumstance, once you agree upon a price, an Indiana attorney can prepare the necessary documents to transfer your sister's interest in the property to you - making you the exclusive owner. If the property is still in your father's name, the process will not be quite as straightforward. Visit with an Indiana attorney to be sure the circumstances are clarified and addressed properly. Best of luck.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 3/18/2014
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