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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33803
Experience:  15 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My mother died 22 months ago naming all 4 children as

Customer Question

My mother died 22 months ago naming all 4 children as beneficiaries AND executors.Prior to her death she lived with my never married sister due to failing health and she changed her accounts to joint with her.My sister has taken over as "sole" executor.She says Mom told her she could take as long as she likes to clear out the house and sell it.She refuses to disclose anything regarding accounts...very secretive.She is no closer to selling than she was a year ago.She and another sister are coconspirators in this attempt to keep me and my brother in the dark.What should be our course of action?
A family cottage was in Mom's name only.When my parents were divorcing she changed ownership to my sister,who has fixed it up and considers it hers.My question is...is the cottage considered to be a part of the estate?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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I need to ask a few questions before I comment..

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Did mother have a written will leaving everything to the children equally?

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If so, are you saying on her will she names all the children as co-executors of her estate?

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If all the children are co-executors, is there some reason why no one else has filed a probate case in court to start to settle the estate?

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And did mother deed the property over to sister so it is in her name only now?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
We are all equal beneficiaries.The house is not deeded to her..only the cottage was put in her name.
Afraid to cause a 'war',to break up the family.
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 months ago.

Ok, thank you for that information. If mother added sister to any assets...be it the cottage or bank accounts, as a joint owner, or outright transferred those assets to her, then they are her separate assets and would not be part of the probate estate that is covered by the will.

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When there is a joint account, when one owner passes, the other instantly becomes the sole owner of it and anything in it.

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As for the house, if she is not taking any action,then any other sibling can go ahead and go down to the local probate court and file a petition to be appointed executor of the estate so as to get the process started is sister has not done anything and is just dragging her heels..

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That person would then be appointed to the role of executor and if the other siblings wanted to join in, then they can as well. Otherwise that sibling would then gather all assets, pay all debts and bills, file an inventory, file and pay any final taxes, and then file a formal accounting and disburse any remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

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So if sister is not taking any action then that will fall on one of the other siblings to do so to get anything done to finally get the estate moving forward towards settlement.

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thanks

Barrister

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