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Property Ownership: How Do We Keep Property in the Family?

By Johns, Flaherty & Collins SC on Wednesday, February 9th 2011

How do we put my mother's real estate in mine and my siblings’ names in a way that keeps it in the immediate family? We do not want spouses to gain ownership if one of us dies. Also, how can we legally make sure one of us won't force the other to buy out for at least 15 years? 

According to litigation attorney Terence Collins, a simple two-step process can resolve both ownership issues. The first step is to name the children as tenants in common, so each is an owner of the property.

The second step is to develop and enter a buy-sell agreement between the property owners, or siblings in this case, that dictates what happens to the property upon any one owner’s death. The buy-sell agreement then will control what happens to the property against the claim of a spouse who may assert ownership. 

Although it is very difficult to force anyone to sell his or her interest, that potential problem could also be covered in the buy-sell agreement.

For more information on property ownership in Wisconsin, contact Terence Collins at 608-784-5678.

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