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Ellen, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
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Experience:  Bankruptcy Lawyer. Experienced.
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My Mothers house is in a life estate giving me one half interest

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My Mother's house is in a life estate giving me one half interest on her death. I filed banruptcy almost three years ago. The case is discharged but not closed because my interest in the life estate. The bankruptcy trustee has scheduled an auction to sell my interest in my Mother's house. He is ordering me to open the house to the public for the auction. He also intends to auction the property on the premisses. My Mother, who is still living, does not want this to happen. My question is: If I am compelled to open her house, can she call the police and have the auctioneer removed for trepassing? The auctionner told me the order to sell the interest can from the federal government and that trumps the local govenrment.

FiveStarLaw :

*This chat is not intended as legal advice. It is general information that may or may not apply to your situation and should not be relied upon.*

FiveStarLaw :


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FiveStarLaw :

Unless the bankruptcy trustee has obtained a court order requiring your mother – not you – to open the house to the public for the auction, she is not required to do so

FiveStarLaw :

The holder of a remainder interest in property (You) does not have possessory rights during the life of the life tenant. This means that you do not have the authority to enter your mother's property during her lifetime without her consent

FiveStarLaw :

I would be glad to respond to any related follow-up questions that you may have.


The trustee is going to take me back to court to try to get the judge to compel me to open the house. This will be the third time in court. My attorney just wants to be done with my case. He wants me to agree to open the house even though my Mother does not agree and has threatened to call the police. I did agree for the Trustee to auction my interest, but not to take over the house. What would happen if I open the house and the police comes to remove the auctioneer? Does my Mother need to get an attorney? She is 92 and i have a Power of Attorney.

FiveStarLaw :

Since you do have power of attorney, the judge can order you to exercise your power of attorney to open the house. Therefore your mother may want to consider revoking your power of attorney.

FiveStarLaw :

Your mother absolutely should retain an attorney. It appears to be in both your interest, her interest and your co-remainderman's interest that the sale take place at the earliest possible date. Obviously should your mother pass away prior to the sale date, your interest in the property will have a much larger value to potential purchaser

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