by Dell Claiborne
My mother, father and I owned a house together in the East End. In 2005, it was paid for completely, and was listed in all of our names. However, my father passed away in January and now my mother wants to add my younger brother and sister to the deed. Can she do that without my permission?
First, I’m sorry for the loss of your father. Your question forces me to do something I try never to do: I’m going to assume that your father’s interest in the home reverted to your mother and that your other siblings aren’t claiming any ownership, but that your mother just wants them to share in owning a home with the rest of the family. In order to add your younger siblings to the deed, a new deed has to be executed that lists you and your mother, the current owners, as grantors and then lists the “new” owners – you and your mother as well as your younger sister and brother – as grantees. This can be done with a simple quitclaim deed. So to answer your question, because you have to be listed on the quitclaim deed and sign as a current owner, it would be impossible for your mother to do this without your permission. I encourage you to speak with a real estate attorney. An attorney will be able to better advise you and your family regarding your ownership interests and whether you or either of your siblings can sell their interests or in the event of death does their interest automatically go to the other owners or to their heirs. This is a topic that can be a little tricky and difficult to navigate.
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