If I am named a beneficiary in my dad’s Will and he signed over the deed to his home to my brother before he passed, what are my rights to it?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I am named a beneficiary in my dad’s Will and he signed over the deed to his home to my brother before he passed, what are my rights to it?

Can I demand to have my name out on the deed to protect my interest in the home? The house is legally half mine even though my brother is living in it. I would like my share, how would

he buy me out?

Asked on April 14, 2016 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The beneficary of a Will can only inherit that which is actually in the estate at the time of probate. If an asset has been previously disposed of, it no longer is a part of the estate. Accordingly, a beneficiary has no rights to it. Therefore, if your father's house was transferred to your brother prior to your father's death, then it was not part of your father's estate. You have no rights to it as a beneficary of your father's Will. And if the title to the house was in your brother's name only, then it is legally your brother's sole property. That having been said, if it was your father's wish that you both split the property, you could ask your brother to give you your share. He, however, is under no legal obligation to do so.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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