Can a house that was inherited by two individuals be listed or sold without both signatures?

My husband and his cousin were left a house in NJ by their aunt in her will. We live in CA and the cousin lives in NJ and she is the executor of the estate and very greedy. She is proceeding with listing and selling the house but I wonder if that can be done without my husband signature. Is that legal? Doesn't she have to have his permission and provide comps on property in the area as well as getting him to agree on a real estate agent and fees?


5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    As executor of the estate she can sell the house as part of probate to settle outstanding bills. The house is not yours until the estate clears probate and that includes all bills being paid, The executor must submit all receipts and disbursements to the judge as a part of the process.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It is uncertain how title to the property is being held right now & also if the estate/probate are still open. That will determine the answer.

    Is the property still in the name of the estate or has it been transferred by means of a Quit Claim Deed to both of them being in title?

    If he is a co-heir & her executor papers are still valid (estate is not closed yet) (also if probate is still open), she very well could have power to sign if the estate has not been closed yet.

    If the probate is over and the estate has been closed, she is free to list with anyone, but any agent that accepts the listing without the signature of both owners may have a rude awakening. If she is presented with a full price offer from a ready, willing and able buyer and your husband does not sign, the cousin is the one on the hook to pay the agents their commission, even if the offer don't come together, should they choose to go after her.

    The property can't be sold (transfer title) without signature of all owners of record.

    FYI, executors are allowed to charge for their time & services for handling an estate. Most greedy ones do. Others do not.


    From a question you posted 3 weeks ago, it sounds the aunt recently passed away. If this is the case, probate must still be open. The cousin can list & sell the house & may need to do so to settle the estate so that the house can be sold to pay expenses and then she & your husband will split the proceeds. If believe there is any funny business going on, request a full itemized accounting of the expenses.

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  • 1 decade ago

    It would depend on how the property was transferred from the estate. If the property was transferred to both as joint tenants, then she cannot list and sell any portion without your husband. If it is held as tenants in common she may sell her portion. You need to contact the estate's attorney.

    Remember this attorney represents the estate not the executor. Your husband needs to request a copy of the will and an accounting of the estate. It would be important to note that if the property is only listed as an asset of the estate and the estate is divided between your husband and his cousin, she would be within her rights to sell the property and split the proceeds. If the will directly bequeaths the house to the two of them, then the above paragraph would most likely apply. Contact the estate's attorney.

    Source(s): probate paralegal
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  • 1 decade ago

    I would watch the listings in that area to make sure she hasn't forged his signature otherwise the answer is "no". The executor of the estate oversees the will but she cannot sell property that is willed to her and your husband without doing something shady.

    The same with a husband and wife - both signatures are required before the property can be listed.

    I am a real etate agent in Texas.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Only if one of the signatories is deceased and it does not sound like it.

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