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Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 6848
Experience:  30+ yrs. handling probate estate, wills, trust, inheritance & real estate related matters
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My father died April 29, 2016. He had a house and 25 acres

Customer Question

My father died April 29, 2016. He had a house and 25 acres he had a line of credit of 221,000. He paid on it 2x a month for 9 yrs. The will says for it to be divided equally between the 3 sisters. My brother in law is the executor. He has not done anything but file the will and pay the taxes for last 2 yrs. He said it isn't worth selling. Dad put it up for sale the summer before my brother in law took over the finances. He refuses to tell me how much he owes. I ask the lender and they won't tell me because he is named executor. I am a one third heir but disabled and am not sure I can handle the duties to be executor. I just want to know if I can buy it because my husband and I are buying a house soon and we would like to buy it if we can.
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Nc
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: The will and the lien at the court house The will has never been read.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: It has been 5 months of trying to find out and I am afraid I've run out of them. No payments have been made that I am aware of in a year or more and soon to be foreclosed on is what I understand
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

Good morning and welcome to JUST ANSWER. if the will has been filed, that means it has been "read" and prove to be the authentic will before the probate court.. Has your brother in law filed an inventory of the estate yet? I will be off-line for the next several hours but I will definitely be back with you later this morning with more information.

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

Hello again. The reason that I asked about the inventory being filed is that it should include the value of the home, subject to any outstanding mortgage balances. When an estate has been opened and the executor has been appointed, he is usually required to be file an inventory of the estate's assets within 60 days or so. That might tell you approximately how much the balance of the mortgage is right now. If your dad listed the property for sale realtor, you might call the realtor who may remember how much mortgage debt there was against the property. This is not confidential information by any stretch so the realtor should be more than willing to help you out even to the extent of perhaps helping you buy the property if you are able to do so.

I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. There is no additional charge to you for rating me. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He has not filed the will even though the attorney said he had. He won't give me any financial information. He refuses to talk or answer a request from an attorney.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He took it off the market before my father died. He wrote me an email saying he was relisting it for sale but has not. He gives no acct of how he spent his funds. I think he wants it in foreclosure so he can try and get a good deal.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
He paid 2 years of taxes after he said there was no more money last September. My husband and I were going to pay for a private room for my father when he was in hospice but my brother in law said he received some back pay for Dad and he would use it. I told him he couldn't use his money to pay for it because the veterans finance woman told me that. He just stopped talking.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

I'm happy to hear that you have an attorney working for you. Every state has laws that can be used to force a person to surrender the will to the clerk of the probate court. Concealing a will can be a crime in most states. Your lawyer will know what kind of petition to file with the court and have served on your brother-in-law which will force him to do what the executor of the will is required to do. I wish I were close enough to where you are that I could be of more assistance, but this is about as far as I can go. I would appreciate your five star rating at this point, and I wish you the best of luck in getting these family matters resolved favorably.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Since then his lawyer retired that has the will.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I can't get it from anyone. I am the one who gave it to the brother in law and now the office is closed.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
We took care of Dad for 16 yrs. I had a stroke 5 yrs ago and can't be the executor
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Are you not a NC attorney?
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
What advice did you give me? I can't see anything that is advice except I'm sorry I can't help. I'm so frustrated. He was my dad and i can't even pay off his house
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
It's been 5 months since he died. He hasn't been appointed executor.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

Okay here is the advice I can give you. First, If your current lawyer does not know how to force the production of your father's will in the probate court, then you should consider replacing him/her with someone else. Second, send a letter to the North Carolina State Bar Association complaining about the lawyer who has retired without turning over the will of your father to the probate court. I guarantee you he will get a letter from the State Bar disciplinary commission and that will be the end of that problem. Here is information on how to do that, and it should be all you need to do to pry the will loose. https://www.ncbar.gov/lawyer-discipline/

I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. There is no additional charge to you for rating me. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I have a copy of the will. He retired before he died. I don't see how any of that helps me find out how much he owes on the property. I know he took out a line of credit for 421,000. He paid on it for over 10 years but not sure if he kept borrowing. Thank you anyway. I thought you knew NC law
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

Here's another approach. You can have your attorney file a petition for letters of administration, and try to get you appointed as administrator of the estate. That will force the other people to bring the will to court and ask that the executor be appointed. You can tell the judge that you wish to buy the real estate, but you need to find out how much is owed on the mortgage. Either the administrator or an executor has the authority to order a payoff statement from the mortgage company. The only way that you are ever going to be able to buy that property is to do it through the probate process there in North Carolina. No one here or elsewhere on the Internet can get that done for you.

Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

Hello again. Please let me know how I can further assist you. There is no additional charge to you for rating me. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
The estate is most likely insolvent. It is not within my capability to be executor because the one named executor has had power of attorney over his finances since he had to go to the veterans home. I have no information except the deed of trust at the court house which is a line of credit and the bank wont tell me anything. I shared power of attorney with him but now that he has passed, this too has passed. Because he had been handling the finances, the bank wont communicate with anyone but him and he won't communicate with me. It is an impossible situation. It seems I could be able to talk to someone about buying his home but it will be in foreclosure anytime. I wonder how many times heirs don't get notified because no one filed the will. I can't even get a copy of that now. I did get a copy but I gave it to the named executor 17 months ago. He doesn't have to tell me anything. I just accept it and walk away?
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

Powers of Attorney are automatically void when the person dies. So that person also can no longer get information from the bank either. If the named executor fails or refuses to probate the will, the probate judge can order him to come to court and explain why. BUT YOU DON'T NEED THE WILL IN ORDER TO BUY THE HOME. If you have the means to pay off his home at the bank, then you certainly have the means to hire a local attorney to open the estate. THE ESTATE CAN SELL YOU THE HOME WITH OR WITHOUT THE WILL. The court will appoint an Administrator. If not you, then perhaps the attorney who you hire. All you have to do is find a good attorney to take over the probate process. I think that I have gone as far as I can go. I wish you all the best of luck in your efforts.

I hope that I have provided excellent service and, if so, would love a 5 star rating. If not, please let me know how I can further assist you. There is no additional charge to you for rating me. A bonus is not required, but is always appreciated.

Thanks again for using JUST ANSWER.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I wanted to assume the loan. The loan can be taken over by the heirs with no closing or transfer fees if the owner dies and leaves it to that heir. I think you gave a good answer but that was the point of finding out if I could assume the loan without being under obligation to be the executor. I listed my father's house for sale and now I'm going ahead and filing to become executor and I'm going to ask the judge to help me get the financial information to close the estate. If I can't do it, or am not doing it correctly, I'll ask the judge to appoint someone else due to my disability. I don't know how much it costs but if I can't pay it then I guess I will be in trouble and they can give me 3 squares while they figure out what to do with me. I have to do the right thing even if it costs more than I have. I wish I knew how much money it costs because I'm not hiring an attorney. I know i can't afford one and I could have walked away like my brother in law. I hope the judge makes him explain his accounting. Thank you.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I paid for the service of on this question. I appreciate your patience. I appreciate your time and willingness to listen and respond to the information you were given.
Expert:  Irwin Law replied 2 months ago.

Thanks for the update. Good luck with the sale.

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