What are my rights to the proceeds from the sale of my late father’s house?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my rights to the proceeds from the sale of my late father’s house?

My father died and I, the youngest son, stayed in our family home. The other 2 went on about their lives. I paid off the mortgage and have tried to maintain property taxes and Hoa fees but have fallen behind. I want to sell. Do the other 2 heirs get a portion from the sale of the property even though they have not bothered to help maintain payments?

Asked on December 14, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If there was no will, all children inherit equally. Therefore, all are entitled to an equal share of the proceeds from it. You were not forced to make those payments: you chose to do so. (E.g. you could have refused to make payments for which you were not legally obligated.) Also, you gained a benefit from those payments: you write that you stayed in the house, so you got to live there, at least for a time, due to making those payments. When someone voluntarily does something they are not required to do, they cannot claim any extra rights or benefits due to their voluntary choice--especially when, as here, they did get a benefit along the way (living there) from what they did. So because you and your siblings are equal owners and/or have equal inheritance rights, because your payments were voluntary, and because you derived a personal benefit from those payments, the payments do not entitle you to anything more than your 1/3 share (as one of three heirs) of the proceeds.

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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