Is there anything I can do if my dad decides to not take any actions and is there anything I can do now to prepare? 3 Answers as of January 31, 2017

I live in my childhood home. My mom passed in 2008. I’ve lived by myself here since 2009. It is now 2017. My dad wants nothing to do with it anymore so I’ve been paying everything including the mortgage utilities, the upkeep and everything. What process will I have to go through to keep the house and continue living here? I have two siblings. One is in jail and the other on the streets and into drugs. My dad has no will. I have the deed which is under my mom and dad’s name.

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A lot depends on whether your parents were married when she died. If so, in California your dad can pursue a Spousal Property Petition to get the property in his name if it was Community Property. After that he can, by present transfer or by Will or Trust (after transferring the property into the trust), leave it to whomever he decides. Failing that, you end up as an equal owner with your siblings that either survive your father or leave surviving issue.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/31/2017
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
First, Dad needs to record an affidavit re death of joint tenant, to get title in his name alone. Then, he can sign a deed to you, if he chooses to do so. However, it is better to inherit, rather than take title by deed, for tax reasons. Dad should get a trust, or at a minimum a will.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/26/2017
Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
In my opinion, the only thing you can do is try to convince your father to set up his estate and plan for the eventual passing of his estate to his children. This is most commonly done by creating a trust and transferring title of any real and personal property into the trust. If he does not plan for the future, someone, most likely you, will need to file for probate when your father passes. The outcome of that probate will depend on many factors but the most likely outcome is that the house will need to be sold and the proceeds divided equally between the siblings. That means the money designated for your sibling in prison will probably go to the state or the victims of his/her crime. The money for the other sibling will likewise be wasted. And, you will be left homeless. If your father doesn't want to "waste" the money setting up his estate, the cost of a proper estate plan runs between $2000 and $5000, whereas probate will cost at least 3 or 4 times that amount and will ruin everything he built. If he does not want to do anything, maybe you can convince him to give you power of attorney to create his estate for him and then you can hire an attorney to get all of this done.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/26/2017
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