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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 11641
Experience:  JD, MBA
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This is a different question about the estate where we were

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This is a different question about the estate where we were having problems with a brother who took things without anyone else's knowledge. There are 3 of us brothers and the oldest is the executor. I am the middle brother. Now we have a buyer for the house. My older brother says the title company wants us all to file a short form to close the estate or the title company won't schedule a closing on the house. They will give us the money after the estate has closed. My brother thinks this is so the lender won't be involved in any lawsuit against the estate (that's his guess). Why can't they just buy the house from the estate and then after that's done we can close the estate when we're ready? I'm just not sure about this. Are we walking into a trap of some kind?

The house is going for $120,000 and is in Dunbar, WV. We do not expect any lawsuits. It looks like we are not going to press criminal charges against my younger brother.

I am passing this along from my older brother who does not have a computer and it is based on my understanding of his explanation. If you have any questions or need more information let me know.
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

The reason the estate must be closed is because of title insurance. What would happen if the sale goes through, and then an heir comes forward with a claim that the house is his? I'll tell you what would happen. The title insurance company would need to pay off the buyer's mortgage after the house is taken from them. The title insurance company wants to avoid that kind of liability at all cost. If the estate is closed first, then that means heirs can no longer come forward to claim the house, and the title insurance company won't have to worry about the problem that I just described. This is no trap.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Okay. Now he tells me that they want proof that closing the estate has been initiated. They intend to close on the house before the estate actually closes. They will give us our money after the estate closes. Does this make sense?


Is there anything that we can do to protect ourselves from a lawsuit, however unlikely?

Hi again.

Yes, it makes sense that the money would be held until after the estate is closed. The reason is that if an heir did come forward after the sale but before the estate closes, then the money that is being held for you could be used to either settle with the heir or pay off the buyer's mortgage.

I don't see that there is any real risk of a lawsuit against you, so I can't think of anything you need to do to protect yourself. You know that you and your brothers are the only heirs. It's the title insurance company that is not taking chances. But from your perspective, I don't see an issue.
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