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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  Estate Law Expert
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We have 4 beneficiaries to our Moms estate of which she left

Customer Question

We have 4 beneficiaries to our Moms estate of which she left no will, only a written letter she keep in her Bible. We all agreed to honor her wish's and divide the property as she instructed. We agreed to appoint our oldest sister as excretive of moms estate based on the fact she live in the state, making it easy for the matter of the estate to be settled quickly. Mom wanted the property divided with the house and the two lot it sets on to go to our little sister, one vacant lot to go to my older sister, one vacant lot to go to my younger brother, these are adjoining properties consisting of 4 & half lots. She also had a small piece of land on the family farm with a mobile home on it that need to be removed as scrap about 5 miles from the above property. This piece of land she wanted me to have. Problem is my Uncle who was appointed executor of my grandma (passed in 1996) will along with his younger brother inherited this piece of land consisting of around 35 acres of land. Her registered will detailing the 35 acres of land had the instructed made clear that the land with moms mobile home on it, with the locations of the property lines be deeded over to my mom when my grandma passes. He never transferred the farm land, we were not aware of this until after moms death when we started paying moms bills and making arrangements to have the property surveyed and divided per moms wishes. I made arrangements to meet him and discuss the issue. He informed me that yes he was instructed by grandma to have the piece were my moms mobile home is located surveyed and deeded over to mom as written in grandma will. He said what he done was when all grandma bills were paid there was 30,000 dollars left to divide between the 3 of them. 10,000 each of this he took part of his and part of his brothers and gave it to my mom so she could have the survey done. My mom is had COPD and in no way possible to take care of this, she also not around to dispute his clam. I told him the will instructed him to have the land deeded over to mom not give her a estimated amount of what he thought it would cost to have it surveyed for her to do it, he was a sworn executor under N.C law. He told me he has paid the taxes on it from 1996 and that counts for something. I told him I don't want to sound hard but in settling moms estate we must disclose to the state all properties of moms, and we are going to include this because it should have been in her name. He turned around and transferred all the property into his and his brothers sons name, giving himself a life estate on the farm. My sister who we voted executor of moms estate informed us she was preparing to file the final account of the estate after 2 years now. When I questioned her about the property on the farm, she told me I would have to work that out with my uncle myself, she has taken care of the Patterson Road property were my younger sister, older sister & brother will inherit the land divided between them per moms wishes, and that is true...that's what mom wanted. My question is can my Uncle get away with what he has done, and can my sister close the estate without all the beneficiaries singing in agreement with her final account of the estate?
Thank you
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 3 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I'm sorry, I'm not following what your uncle did that you believe was wrong. That may be because the facts are spread out quite a bit and I may be missing something. Would you mind explaining exactly what you believe your uncle did wrong and how you would like that to be corrected?

As to your sister, there is no requirement that the beneficiaries sign an agreement. The court can just enter an order adopting the final accounting and closing the estate. If you disagree with what she has done then your best course of action is to hire a lawyer and have them file an Answer and object to whatever it is you object to.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Thanks for the reply, I'm sorry for the confusion. My grandfather & grandmother had a registered will. The will explained their final wishes on how their assets were to be distributed between their 3 children. They owned a couple of properties, one on Patterson Ave that consisted of 4 1/2 lots with 2 houses. The other was a 35 acre farm. One of my uncles had build a house on the farm in the late 70s and my mother had placed a mobile home on the farm property as well. The above mentioned will designated both my uncles as executors of my grandparent estate. The will defined the property on Paterson Ave was to go to my mother along with one acre of the land on the farm were my mother had put a mobile home on it to live. the rest was to go to both my uncles to divide as they wished. My grandfather proceeded my grandmother in death, so my grandmother became the sole owner of all the above. My grandmother had the will brought up to date showing her as the sole owner and the rest repeated what was in the original will on how to divide the property and both my uncles as executors of the estate adding a life estate for herself in the home on Patterson Ave, were her and my mother lived. When she passed in 1996 my uncles divided up the properties per the will with the exception of the one acre on the farm were my mothers mobile home is located. None of us knew that he had done this thinking he had satisfied our grandmothers wish as out lined in her will. My mother passed in May of 2014 leaving no will. She did however write down her wishes and keep them in her Bible, only telling us while on her death bed. She had written the both houses on Patterson Ave were to go to our younger sister, this was two lots. The other 2 1/2 lots were to be divided between my older sister and my younger brother. The one acre and mobile home were to be given to me. No problem, we all 4 agreed to abide see that here wish were carried out. We made sure all her bills were paid, then proceeded to contact a surveyor to do the necessary surveying of the Patterson Ave property as this property was now being divided 3 ways. While searching for the deed for the property on the farm we learned out uncle had never had it surveyed and deeded over to our mother. I made contact with him and ask him when carrying out his duties as one of the executors of grandma estate were we could obtain a copy of the deeded for the 1 acre of land with mama's mobile home on it so we could finish closing out her estate. He said he never deeded that over to her, instead he took the total of all money left after grandma death and her bills all paid totaling $30,000 dollars and divided it 3 way with each receiving $10,000 dollars each. He then said he took some of his $10,000dollars and his brothers $10,000 dollars and gave it to my mother so she could have the survey for the 1 acre done and she could have it registered. My mother is no longer here to dispute this, she was also a COPD patent and had no way of doing any of this. I told him grandma will entrusted him to have that survey done and deeded over to mama, not hand her some money and say do it yourself. I ask why when he was taking care of the Patterson Ave property had he not do the same with the 1 acre on the farm. He had no answer to that, I told him we have to turn that into the stated as part of mamas estate as it should have been done in 1996. He said well he been paying taxes on it all these years and that has to count for something. I told him he been paying taxes because he did not do his sworn duty as the executor of grandma estate, if he had he would not have been paying those taxes. And that he needs to have it done, we will pay for the survey. Him and his brother then transferred the property over to their sons, giving themselves a life estate on the property. Can he legally do this? Also my sister the one we placed as the executor over mamas estate told me I was on my own on the farm property, and she filling to close out mamas estate. My brother or younger sister agree with how she has carried out her sworn duties and refuse to sign in agreement with the above.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 3 months ago.

If I understand the facts correctly, then the answer is no, he can't do this legally. Your solution is to sue him and the children to whom he deeded the property in the probate court and request that the judge declare the deeds void and then place the property back into the probate estate for division.

Likewise, if you disagree with anything your sister has done you would need to file an objection in the probate court and explain to the judge how you believe the property should have been handled. Of course, you would find it much easier if you use a lawyer but you are allowed to file in the probate court yourself but you can't sue the uncle yourself. Whoever wants to start that suit must hire lawyer because they would be acting on behalf of the estate and only an attorney can file papers on behalf of another entity.

If your question has been answered then I'd offer my best wishes to you and ask that you please not forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

Of course, please feel free to ask any follow up questions in this thread. I want to be sure that all of your questions are answered. In addition, once you issue your Positive Rating the question will lock open and no longer time out so you can come back to it anytime in the future if you think of any follow ups.

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