What are Siblings’ Rights after Parents’ Death?

The split of inherited property is as painful as saying the last goodbye to your parents. Since every child has their plans for the future, they can claim their rights over the house, which unfortunately leads to disagreements and house splits. If you are here that means you are seeking out the siblings rights after parents death.

However, when such conflicts arise, who has the right to decide the future of the house or whatever property their parents left them with? When inheriting a property with siblings, everyone has the right to express his desires related to that property. For instance, whether to rent it or sell it out.

Understanding siblings rights after parents death

Since the trustee has the lawful right to sell the property without the beneficiaries’ consent, a discussion should be done before the estate administration process begins, as it is the only way to halt the executor from selling the property. To further learn about the siblings rights after parents death Keep on reading.

How to Split inherited property among siblings?

After parents’ death, their home is the only valuable thing left with their children. Thereby, to determine what each beneficiary has inherited and made the right decision for the property, it’s important to hire a beneficiary lawyer for the entire process. With the help of a lawyer, the beneficiaries can decide over what to do with the house and determine how many pieces of property each child is entitled to.

When no particular instructions regarding the property are not added in the deceased’s estate planning documents, the trustee or executor has the legal right to do what seems fit to them. It is the duty of the fiduciaries (trustee) to do what is best for the beneficiaries and the estate, even if that means they have to bypass the beneficiary’s wants and desires.

When deciding how to split the property, one must consider several aspects of the situation. For instance, your financial condition, and whether you would be able to afford the property’s expense if you were to claim the property’s ownership.

Below are the possible solutions when splitting an inherited property among siblings.

1. Sell out the property

The simplest solution is to sell out the property and whatever you get from the proceeds, split them amongst the beneficiaries as per the descendant’s will or the percentage shares every child had been lawfully entitled with.

2. Rent out the property

If the beneficiaries are not ready to let go of their home but nobody wants to live in it either, another possible solution is to rent out the house and divide the yearly or monthly rental income among the beneficiaries.

3. Buyout

If one beneficiary wishes to keep the property while others don’t, he/she could buy out the rest of the siblings’ shares in the property.

4. Private mutual agreement among siblings

Beneficiaries can opt to make a private arrangement for the property split. For instance, if two siblings have to split the properties their parents left them with, one could take the primary home and the other sibling could take the vacation home or townhouse if both the residencies roughly cost the same. Likewise, if one sibling does not have enough amount to buy out the other sibling’s share in the property, they can mutually decide on monthly payments with interest.

5. Partition Actions

When the beneficiaries could not reach a mutual decision on how to split the property, they have the right to involve the court to force the sale of the property and end the co-ownership. A partition lawsuit is filed to resolve the property split conflicts. 

Can you reside in the inherited house?

Whether or not a beneficiary can stay in the house inherited to him/her by the deceased depend on the terms of the will, agreement among the siblings, or executor’s discretion. For instance, if the will entitles’ each beneficiary with equal shares of the house, all the siblings have the right to reside in it after receiving the title. Though, it is unlikely of siblings to share an inherited property jointly. Another formal agreement must be made to divide the property among the beneficiaries.

Any beneficiary who is up to take complete ownership of the house or claim his/her share needs to involve a lawyer to consult how to enforce to claim their right to the house. However, if one beneficiary’s wish to keep the house contradicts the rest of the sibling’s decision, a partition lawsuit needs to be filed to resolve the conflict and make an unbiased decision.

Is it mandatory to involve the court when splitting the inheritance?

Generally, properties being disposed of on the deceased will need to go through probate (a court’s process involving analyzing and transferring of the inherited assets). On the contrary, properties under trust’s hold do not have to go through trust administration. Here we have discussed how you can escape probate after death.

As for splitting inherited property, once the beneficiaries are entitled to their rightful shares in the property, it is not required to get a court involved. However, if the beneficiaries could not reach a mutual decision due to disagreements, it becomes necessary to involve a court by filing a partition lawsuit.

What is Probate and how does it work?

When a person dies, his/her assets usually go through a process called probate. However, the process can be prevented if they have made any of the following arrangements:

  • They have designated a trust who can prevent the probate
  • If the deceased’s property’s worth is $20,000 or below, it can escape the probate process.

In the probate process, if the deceased had not mentioned the executor’s name in their will, the court designates an administrator.

If your deceased parents have named your sibling in their will as an executor, you better hope that they do their job with justice. However, if you encounter any misconduct on their part in estate administration, the court allows the other siblings to file an estate administration lawsuit against the defendants.

Can siblings force the sale of the inherited house?

Being a part of a big family, one must know siblings rights after parents death because what if one wants to keep their parent’s legacy while others want to get rid of it or force sale it for their own benefit. For such circumstances, you need to learn how to claim or maintain ownership of the house.

Generally, beneficiaries cannot force the sale of the inherited property unless they mutually decide to do so or involve a court to take partition action. However, certain conditions need to be fulfilled to start the partition action. They are in the following:

  • There should be a disagreement between the co-owners of the property on whether to sell it or not.
  • A partition action is the only way to split the property. For instance, you cannot split a house into two therefore, you need to file for a partition action to divide the property.

In some cases, siblings can force the property sale if the majority of them do not want to keep the house, as a court cannot force anyone to keep the ownership of the house.

Even if the siblings have initiated a partition law, the matter can still be resolved out of court. For instance, if some siblings wish to keep the house, they can apply for buy out an agreement during the partition lawsuit as part of it. However, if siblings fail to reach any conclusion, the court puts the house up for sale and at that point, the situation gets out of control of the beneficiaries.

It is essential to know that the partition lawsuit winner could request the court to cover their attorney’s cost. That means the court could ask the defending party to bear that cost or cover the cost from the house proceedings after its sale.

What happens if the inherited property was co-owned by the deceased or their Trust?

Another common scenario in which a partition action occurs is when the decedent did not completely own the property or house inherited by the beneficiaries. That means the property had been co-owned by a third party.

For instance, if the deceased co-owned a vacation or townhouse with a friend and designated the house to their children in their will, would the children be willing to share the property as their deceased parents did? In such a case, partition action occurs. One party has to file a buy-out agreement to own the property fully. If the other party refuses to sell their share, a partition lawsuit may resolve the issue. Here’s what happens to a deceased’s property without a will.

Oftentimes, the property being inherited was co-owned by a trust. Like in the above case, the trustee can file for a partition action to force the property sale or vice versa. The trustee is also eligible to negotiate for the buyout agreement.

When is the partition lawsuit not applicable?

When a property is in joint ownership, partition action is typically a viable way for a co-owner to end their ownership by forcing the property sale. However, certain property titles are binding, and thereby, in such cases, partition lawsuits cannot be filed.

If a co-owner of the property is wondering how to stop its force selling, they better keep in mind that it’s complicated. However, not impossible. Hiring a probate lawyer will help the defendant protect their rights to the property.  In fact, the other party, which is bent on force selling the property, also needs to hire a probate lawyer to achieve the best outcomes.

It is important to know that beneficiaries who are yet to be entitled to the ownership of the property cannot file for partition action. Only the current owners or trustees can do so. For instance, if the siblings have inherited the property of their parents, they cannot file for partition action until the trustee transfers the ownership title to the beneficiaries.

If a trustee or an executor is holding the property from selling because of his/her personal interests, which is wrong, but the beneficiaries cannot file for partition action. In such cases, the best course of action would be to file a petition to get the trustee removed with the assistance of an estate lawyer.

How to split an inherited property among siblings as a Trustee?

If the deceased parent of the beneficiaries had designated you as an executor to carry out the property division process, it’s crucial for you to learn how to justly do so. Also, make sure you follow all the procedures and guidelines so that you won’t be held accountable in case of disagreements.

While it is important to have complete knowledge of the property split process, it is specifically crucial for personal trustees, for instance, one of the beneficiaries, who could have a conflict of interest. It is a legal duty of a fiduciary to benefit all the beneficiaries equally. If they violate any of the sibling’s rights of property entitlement, they won’t be just dismissed from their duty but also will be liable to pay for the damages.

Below we have listed some guidelines for fiduciaries to follow during a property split.

  • Track down the Trust document
  • Thoroughly examine the document for any instructions from the deceased regarding the property split.
  • Determine the worth of the deceased’s property
  • Clear all the creditor’s claims and debts on descendant
  • Notify the siblings about their due entitlements
  • Divide the property among the beneficiaries as per the deceased will document

How to sell an inherited property as a Trustee or an executor?

Another way of splitting an inherited property as a trustee or an executor is by putting it on sale and dividing the proceedings among the beneficiaries. However, what to do if one sibling wants to keep the property and the rest don’t?

According to the law, an executor or trustee has the right to decide for the property even if that means deciding without obtaining the beneficiaries’ consent.  Whether you should or not is another story. It is the responsibility of a fiduciary to make a decision that serves the beneficiaries’ interests. Therefore, it is better to involve them while making any.

How to resolve a dispute between siblings regarding a property split?

Splitting an inherited property can get complicated if one of the beneficiaries refuses to sell the property. In such cases, it is best to call a probate lawyer to resolve the conflict or prepare a buyout agreement. However, if that couldn’t resolve the dispute, a partition action should be brought. A probate lawyer can also assist if the trustee or personal representative of the property tries to sell the estate that beneficiaries don’t want to or vice versa.


When parents die, several questions can take over your mind, for instance, what are siblings right after parents death? Or how to justly split the inherited property among your siblings if your deceased parents have designated you as an executor in their will. However, since things can get dirty in such matters, it is the best idea to consult an attorney or probate lawyer who can make you learn how to carry out the process and also what to do if other siblings don’t agree with your decision.

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