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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 101607
Experience:  Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.
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Hi, I have a situation. My mother died back in July. She

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Hi, I have a situation. My mother died back in July. She left a will stating my older brother is the executor and that everything she owed (house, jewelry, collectibles) was supposed to be sold and divided between the five of us (me and 4 brothers). As soon as she died, my brothers ransacked the house, took her coin collection, doll collection sold the cars. The executor of the will has completely disregarded my mothers wishes and are leaving me out completely. What can I do? I lived in my mom's house cause I was her caregiver and now they have changed the locked on the house and are saying I can't live there anymore. I don't know what I need to do to protect myself. I need some direction.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. Can you please tell me - do you know if your siblings ever files probate, or, not?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes my older brother filed probate.

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX you know if probate is still active, or, it has been finalized/closed?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He filed the papers a few weeks later he received paperwork from the court stating that he was executor. Thats all I know.

Thank you. Apologies for the wait while I am typing out my answer...
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you!

When someone passes away, then their estate has to be distributed. The problem is that without probate - with assets such as titled property or bank accounts - this is hard to do. This is because you cannot switch over the assets without an order from the probate court, and simply a Certificate of Death will not do. A Certificate of Death simply states that someone has passed on, but does not give you the right to really do anything in the deceased's name.

So one files probate. Once probate is filed, the Executor of the estate gets something called a Letter of Testament/Administration (hereinafter "Letter"). This Letter will allow the Executor to switch over the assets from the deceased individual to whoever will own the property. It is like a "Power of Attorney," but from the Court. Without that Letter, there is no way to transfer titled property and switch the assets into the beneficiaries' hands.

The Executor is also entrusted to distribute non-titled property and assets per the Will left by the deceased. If this has not happened - and arguably it has not - then one may (1) file a motion in probate court if the probate matter is still open to HOLD THE EXECUTOR RESPONSIBLE, undo the damage, and possibly have them removed and someone else appointed, or, if the probate matter is already closed, (2) reopen it, or, pursue a separate civil case for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, etc.

An attorney is STRONGLY recommended here. One does have rights, but it is important to act fast.

May I recommend the CA Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

Good luck.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One last question...Does the executor have the right to kick me out of the only home I lived in for over 30 years (my mothers home)? Or does he have to go through the court to have me evicted or removed from the house. He has already changed the locks on the house.


 

Please ask as much as you need to, for this is why I am here!

Does the executor have the right to kick me out of the only home I lived in for over 30 years (my mothers home)? Or does he have to go through the court to have me evicted or removed from the house. He has already changed the locks on the house.

HE HAS TO GO THROUGH THE COURT. At this point, you were what is known as a tenant at sufferance. A tenant at sufferance is someone who has no right to occupy the premises, but is tolerated by the owner and may be terminated at the will of the owner.

A tenant at sufferance has few rights, but one of these rights is to be evicted. So in other words, one cannot simply physically kick you out of the home. You must be evicted like a tenant who has not paid rent. And that is IF you do not the property in the Will.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Since my brother changed the locks and has the keys am I allowed to enter the house without him? I just don't want my brother having me arrested for breaking into my home.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I forgot to mention...I have a problem with alcohol so I went to a 14 day detox. When I got out today, I went home and I was locked out. My brother changed the locks while I was in detox.

L,

Since my brother changed the locks and has the keys am I allowed to enter the house without him? I just don't want my brother having me arrested for breaking into my home.

At this point, if you have been essentially evicted (although arguably wrongly), not until/unless a Court states otherwise.

I forgot to mention...I have a problem with alcohol so I went to a 14 day detox. When I got out today, I went home and I was locked out. My brother changed the locks while I was in detox.

You may wish to pursue an unlawful eviction, although this may simply be "folded' into the probate matter overall.

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