What can he do to avoid being “kicked to the curb”?

It depends on how the house is owned. Sometimes parents will add a child’s name to the house by quit claim deed (not recommended for lots of reasons). If your brother’s name was added to the house, he owns it and has the right to continue to live there. If the home was just in your father’s name, it may be necessary to open a probate estate to sell or transfer the property.

If the property is owned jointly by all the brothers, in most situations if all of the brothers can’t agree, any one of the brothers can file a complaint for “partition”. In a partition, the court can order the sale of the property and the proceeds are divided among the owners. The court may give one owner the chance to buy out the other owners, but if an agreement can’t be reached, the house will be sold. A partition lawsuit can be expensive for everyone, so it is usually better to try to come to an agreement before going to court. The first place to start would be reviewing the deed to determine how the property is owned. We offer a free consultation and would be glad to take a look at the deed and let you know what options are available.

Glenn Matecun is a partner with the law firm of Matecun, Thomas & Olson, PLC in Howell. He is an attorney focusing on estate planning, elder law and senior Veterans’ benefits, and answers readers’ questions on legal matters affecting individuals, their families and their businesses. Listen to Glenn on Senior Law Radio, WMUZ 103.5 FM, every Saturday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Email questions to questions@mtolaw.com, or if your question is urgent, call (517) 548-7400. Visit us at www.MichiganEstatePlans.com.

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