What are a joint tenants rights regarding property?

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What are a joint tenants rights regarding property?

About 20 years ago, my father deeded over to my brother and me his house. We are Tenants In Common with Right of Survivorship. At the time this was done, we were both single. My brother became married 15 years ago and I married 3 years later. I currently live in the house with my husband. Is there anyway to change this deed. My husband and I pay everything, taxes, bills, upkeep, etc. If I would die before my husband, my brother says he has the legal right to the house.

Asked on October 9, 2013 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Youe brother is right.  If you took title as joint tenants with rights of survivorship, then if you die first, your brother has every legal right to the house.  You can not change the title without your brother's consent.  The fact that you have been paying taxes and upkeep does not entitle you to do so.  In fact, an argument could be made that your enjoyment of the house all these years to the exclusion of your brother, merely for the expenses of taxes and upkeep, means you have been getting a much better deal than he has.  Of course, if your brother dies before you, the house is yours 100%, unless of course you murder him.


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