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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 54026
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My mother passed away 3 yaers ago and left her house which

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My mother passed away 3 yaers ago and left her house which was free and clear to my brother and myself. my brother was living in the house until last year when he passed away. I would like to sell the house. We still have the house in my mothers name. What do I have to do?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.


Good morning. Who was the executor of your mother's estate? Thanks.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was.

Thanks for your response. As executor, you have the authority to transfer title to you and your brother's estate by quit claim deed. You would sign the deed on behalf of your mother...who would be listed as grantor as [Name of your mother, Deceased]...as the executor of her estate. The deed would need to be witnessed and notarized, and then recorded in the real property records of the city/county in which the property is located. Then, the property could be sold by you and the executor of your brother's estate. Or, you the executor of your brother's estate can transfer your brother's interest to his heirs and then you and the heirs can sell the property. If you want to sell and any of the heirs do not, you can force a sale if they will not buy your interest. To do so, you would do so by filing a suit for partition. The result of that suit will be one of the following: i) if the property can be equitably subdivided, the court will order the property divided into smaller parcels with each owner then owning 100% of their own smaller tract with full control over that tract; or ii) if the property cannot be equitably subdivided, the court will order the property sold and the proceeds divided. Since a house cannot be divided, the court will order the house sold. The reality is that in most cases, once the owners fighting the sale find out the certainty of the result of a suit for partition, that/those owner(s) typically agrees/agree to the sale without the suit to avoid the costs of the suit.



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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My brother was estranged from his heirs for over twenty years and I have no idea how to locate them

Did he have a will? If so, who was named executor?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Not to my knowledge. He was living on the street and was buried by the county.

Thank you. That's good! You can simply file a petition with the court to be appointed the executor of his estate. With no one else vying for that position, it would be pretty straightforward to get appointed, then you could sell the property yourself...on your own behalf and as executor of your brother's estate.
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