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Sibling Living In Deceased Parents' Home

Sibling living in deceased parents’ home

Brother or sister refuses to leave. 

Ah, what a plight! Two siblings received the family home through inheritance, and one lives in the home. One sibling wants to stay in the house, while the other wants to sell it -both are still determining what steps to take. The answer lies in understanding their legal rights and the actions that can be taken to finally make this house a home for only one or sell. Knowing the eviction process and the potential for court involvement is critical to a successful outcome. Even so, it would help if you still had some insight from the guide below. Then call us to assist in the matter.

by | Feb 16, 2023

What are the inheritance rights of siblings regarding a deceased parent’s house?

The first step in determining inheritance rights is to examine the deceased parent’s will or trust. If the will or trust explicitly states how the home is to be divided among the children, then that is the legally binding document that should be followed. Should a will be absent, the state’s intestate regulations shall be instigated.  

Often, the estate of the departed parent shall be partitioned amongst their heirs, with each of their children receiving a portion of the inheritance identical in size. In this case, the home should be divided equally between the siblings. That is, through a sale or by each sibling receiving a portion of the equity. 

If a sibling occupies the home, that sibling may consider using the right of survivorship to receive the house. However, a sibling occupying the home is typically not entitled to the entirety of the home’s equity. The other siblings must agree to waive their inheritance rights for the occupying sibling to receive the house. 

This agreement, be it written or otherwise, must be scrutinized by a legal expert, lest siblings find themselves embroiled in a lengthy and expensive court battle, with the genuine possibility of the home being sold and the inheritance split amongst them.  

Still, let it not be forgotten – the home of their departed parents is a precious part of their heritage. Amid any disputes, it is essential to remember the love and care shared in the home and strive to reach a fair resolution for all parties. 

What happens when one of the siblings refuses to sell an inherited property?

A tricky situation always arises when your brother or sister inherits a property and does not wish to part with it. To begin with, either party can take advantage of various legal actions. The most sensible and practical route is to negotiate an arrangement between the siblings. But if this is not possible, then one may pursue eviction. Depending on the state, the eviction procedure generally spans one to three months, and if the deadline passes, the court will usually approve the eviction. 

The eviction is done; the siblings now must decide how to manage the property. Should they divide the proceeds or go down the route of selling it? If you and your sibling cannot determine who should receive the profits of a sale, a trust or will could be the answer.  

But if even that fails to bring agreement, then it might be time to take the matter to probate court. At this point, the judge will decide who gets the home and how it should be divided. Regardless of court involvement, time could be better if you go this way. Not to mention it’s a costly process. As a result, you should explore all the alternatives. Consulting an expert may pay dividends. 

How do I buy a sibling out of an inherited house?

One sibling may want to keep the house, while another may want to sell it and divide the proceeds. The only solution may be for one sibling to buy out the other.

  • It begins with a contract, agreement, or deed of trust between the two siblings that outlines the terms and conditions of the sale, including how much the buyout will cost.
  • Then, the sibling wishing to buy out the other must come up with the funds to complete the purchase. This could be done with a bank loan or a cash advance from a probate advance company.
  • Lastly, the sibling being bought out must sign a deed of release to officially transfer the ownership of the house to the other. With careful consideration and the right legal advice, buying out a sibling from an inherited house can be a relatively straightforward process.

How do I get my brother to move out of my house?

Difficult though it may be, remembering one’s legal rights when moving a sibling from the family home must not be overlooked. If a sibling occupies a home that two or more family members jointly own, the other owners may have the legal right to evict them. Various methods can allow one sibling to buy out the other. Read on for more.


Verily, one must employ an eviction attorney to aid with the removal of a sibling from the abode of one’s deceased parents. Such an attorney shall craft an eviction notice, granting the sibling a finite duration, such as thirty days, to depart from the premises.

Should the time for the eviction elapse, and yet the brother or sister holds fast to the abode, a plea for wrongful detainer may be lodged, and a hearing in court may be held. 

Leverage the 850 Petition of the California Probate

If the sibling does not leave a property that lies in a trust, you may have to file the “850 petitions” (or a “Heggstad petition“). Yet this option is reserved for California. This request is named after Section 850 of the California Probate Code, which speaks of the “conveyance or transference of decedent properties. 

An 850 request may be submitted when one holds fast to and declines to restore trust property. Such is the case with houses and land. Following the 850 supplications, you are making a legitimate move to restore the trust property to the trust so that they can disseminate it as arranged in the trust dispersal. 

However, you must confer with their trust administration attorney to seek the wise counsel of the law. Nonetheless, the 850-petition measure may be the best option. That means your lawyer will assist you in properly preparing and filing such a document with the court.

Submit the Partition Action

It’s tricky when you’re trying to get a sibling off the title of a family home divided up amongst multiple siblings, primarily if one of them resides in the abode. Here we have two siblings who wish to part ways with the property and split the proceeds, yet one wishes to stay put. It looks like a problem that will take much negotiation and compromise to unravel.

In California, the power of partition is unlimited: any co-owner of a property may invoke the law to force the sale of the property by initiating a court-ordered partition action. Thus, any dwellers on the property will be ousted. Then, a partition referee will be chosen to advertise and dispose of the property.

How do you force a sibling to sell an inherited house?

You cannot coerce your siblings to offload the inherited property, yet you can apply to the court for an “order for sale.” This may be a cumbersome and costly endeavor, and you will not be assured that a sale is coming to an end. Either you or your lawyer must send a letter to each sibling who holds a portion of the property explaining your case for selling the inherited property. 

All siblings should be granted the right to answer. If you cannot reach an agreement, the matter goes to court. As a result, they will weigh the grantor’s intent and the property’s use. Typically, the judgment may be based on the benefit of the minors who call it home. But sometimes, favor goes to secured creditors of any siblings. All parties involved must ensure that the interests of all parties are upheld. That is with the welfare of the minors being preserved. 

This course of action will likely have a long-lasting effect on your relationships with your siblings. And it does not guarantee a sale. Applying for an “order for sale” should only be considered a last resort when you have attempted all other options. 

Can you evict a sibling who has agreed to pay rent on an inherited home?

If a sibling has agreed to pay rent on an inherited house, one cannot force them to do so. However, one can take legal action to eliminate a freeloading family member. As the law regards such a family member as a tenant, one can initiate evicting them through a legal action known as an unlawful detainer.  

This involves filing a complaint in court and providing the family member with a notice of eviction, allowing them to vacate the premises. If they fail, the court may grant an order allowing the police to remove them. Thus, it is possible to evict a freeloading family member who has agreed to pay rent out of an inherited house through a legal process. 

How do courts deal with evictions?

Generally, it is often the case that one adult sibling still resides in the home of their late parent. As such, a trustee may be appointed to sell the property with or without their consent. If both siblings become trustees and disagree, the court may appoint a third trustee to prevent a stalemate.

Even so, it is essential to remember that sibling evictions can be convoluted. Even if the sibling is removed as trustee, they may oppose the eviction order. Ultimately, the court may choose to uphold the eviction, or the executor may be asked to work out an alternative plan, such as a rent payment plan or an extended timeline for the sibling’s departure. Therefore, it is wise to be aware of the potential complexities of such matters. Call Hess-Verdon to discuss your matters at 949-706-7300.

A sibling living in deceased parents’ home refusing to move, can a lawyer help?

When a family member is residing in a deceased parent’s house and declining to move, a lawyer can supply a range of support. Depending upon the particular conditions, the attorney may help to mediate a settlement, give counsel on legal matters, or even start eviction proceedings. In some cases, the siblings could reach an arrangement regarding the disposition of the property. If one sibling is unwilling to move out, a lawyer can help arrange an equitable outcome that considers both parties’ interests. This could include the siblings agreeing to share the property, with one obtaining primary residence and the other receiving some form of payment.  

Additionally, the lawyer can provide legal advice concerning the rights of siblings in this predicament. Depending on the pertinent laws in the jurisdiction, the siblings may have specific rights that must be respected, like the right to inhabit the property or receive payment for their portion.  

The lawyer can also explain the legal procedure and the potential effects if a resolution cannot be achieved. Finally, a lawyer may also be able to pursue eviction proceedings if the other sibling is not inclined to negotiate. Most of the time, the court will mandate some form of notification before considering an eviction order. The lawyer can ensure all critical steps are taken in the procedure.


Navigating a dispute concerning a deceased family member’s estate can be overwhelming and emotional. To guarantee that your rights are considered, it is essential to consult a qualified probate litigation attorney

Hess-Verdon & Associates, California’s top estate law firm and industry leader, is highly experienced in handling probate disputes and acutely aware of these delicate situations. They provide their clients with the most exceptional legal counsel and representation.  

Their expertise in probate litigation can serve a variety of disputes, such as interpreting wills and trusts, assessing the validity of a will, and distributing assets. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or worries about a probate dispute.

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