My brother and second oldest sister were named executor’s of my parents will, there was little property a 2008 Dodge Magnum 4-door SW (valued at $12,000.00) and an acre of land (valued at $12,000.00) there was an agreement made by us 4 children that my brother could by the car for $12,000.00 and he would pay myself and my 2 sisters $3,000.00 each for the car. Both of my sisters have received their money $3,000.00 each, I have not received my money and this has been 2 weeks since he took ownership of the car. I have e-mailed him a couple of times and texted him a couple of times and he is not answering any of my messages about where my portion of the money is. What should I do now?
State/Country relating to question: Arizona
e-mails and text messages
Hello,Thank you for using JA..Was this an oral agreement or a written one?.Is brother employed?.Has the estate already been settled and the vehicle transferred to him?,
Please remember to rate my answer. I will gladly continue our discussion until you have gotten the information you need.
If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” or “CONTINUE CONVERSATION” button.
Please keep in mind that I am trying to help you understand and resolve your situation. I don't make the laws, I am just reporting or interpreting them, so the outcome may not be what you had hoped for.
. Please be patient as I am typically working with several customers at any given time. Some answers take 5 minutes, some 35 minutes. But rest assured, I will get back to you.
I am not entering into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. With that in mind, do not post any specific information you do not want available for public viewing. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.
This was a oral agreement, he is retired receiving retirement and social security, yes he has ownership of the car and has the title changed to his name
Ok, if he doesn't respond or tender payment to you, your recourse would be to file suit for breach of an oral contract. An oral contract is enforceable once a party to the contract has performed under it. So when you agreed to allow him to transfer the vehicle, you performed under your portion of the contract. If he fails to pay, then he is in breach..I would suggest sending him a written letter requesting payment of the $3K within a set period of time or you will have to file suit. Send it both certified mail as well as regular first class mail. Then if he doesn't pay or contact you to make some type of payment arrangement you can agree to, you would have to file suit against him and get a judgment. You could then take the judgment and lien the vehicle and potentially force a sale of it to pay your judgment..
13 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
Do I file a suit with, small claims court, Probate court or cival court. Thanks Bill
You could file in small claims, but the problem is the limit is only $2500 so if you wanted to sue for more than that (i.e. the $3K ) you would have to hire an attorney and file suit in a higher civil court. The court may or may not award attorney's fees in the higher court, so you may actually end up with more by suing in small claims (depending on how much an attorney charges to file the suit)..
So the Probate court has nothing to do with this even though he is in violation of executing the will. Bill
No, once the heirs agree among themselves to dispose of the car, then it is a private civil matter. Brother, as an individual, is supposed to pay you, not the estate or brother in the role of executor. So this is a civil breach of contract between him and you..
Ok, I know you cant give advise, what would you suggest be the best way for me to go. Small claims or Civil. Thanks
Well...attorneys typically charge anywhere from $150-350/hr for their services. So if it took the attorney an hour to draft the complaint and file it, let's say that is $250. Then you can probably count on at least another couple hours for a hearing and any preparation for the hearing..So I would opine that the attorney/Justice court route would net you less than just filing suit in small claims court..
You are very welcome..The best to you and yours..
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).