Q: When a person states in their will that adult children shall share equally in the estate, does that include real property, or does real property have to be stated specifically? There are only two adult children, myself and a sister. The deed on my father's home listed his name and my sibling. She kept the home and I only shared in the personal items and money from a bank account. Was I also entitled to share in the home?
A: That depends on how title to the property was listed on the deed.
If title was held as joint tenants, then the disposition of the real property would not be controlled by the will. That is because, if the title is held in joint tenancy, upon the death of one of the joint tenants, the interest of the deceased joint tenant "disappears" and the ownership is automatically held by the surviving joint tenant.
Certain documents have be to be filed with the County Recorder to transfer the title, but because there is no longer an interest in the real property upon the death of the joint tenant, it is not considered an asset of the estate and therefore does not pass according to the terms of the will.
If the property was held as tenants-in-common, then your dad and your sister each would own a separate half-interest. Your sister would still own her one-half interest and the one-half interest owned by your dad would be divided between you and your sister according to terms of the will.
You can visit the County Recorder's Office in the county in which the property was located and research the title to determine how it was held at the time of your father's death.