Do heirs of a deceased co-owner have rights to a house?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do heirs of a deceased co-owner have rights to a house?

My grandmother purchased a house and listed her 3 children on the deed as co-owners; 1 son died and his name was never removed. Then my grandmother died, and now the 2 surviving children want to sell the house. Are the heirs of the deceased son entitled to 1/3 of the house?

Asked on April 17, 2019 under Estate Planning, Missouri


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It depends on how your grandmother's children owed the home together. You can find out how from the deed or title.
If they owned it as "tenants in common," then when one of the owners ("tenants") passed away, his heirs would inherit his interest in or share of the home (a 1/3 interest, shared among his heirs). Therefore, they would be entitled to share in 1/3 the proceeds or equity.
But if they owned it as "joint tenants with right of survivorship" or "JTROS," then when one died, his share went to and was shared between the other joint tenants, who then would each end up 1/2 owners.

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