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AlexiaEsq.
AlexiaEsq., Managing Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  19+ Years of Legal Practice in Estate Law.
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My sister, brother and I inherited the estate of our parents

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My sister, brother and I inherited the estate of our parents who both passed away in 2007. My father passed away in April 2007 and my mother followed in Nov. 2007. Their will wasn't accepted by probate court because it was a copy and not the original. But, according to probate, everything went to my mother when my father died. Since my mother passed away before my father's probate was final, she did not have the chance to do another will, therefore all property was divided between me, my sister and brother. In order for forclosure to keep from happening on the house, my brother and his family moved into my parents house and paid off the $5,000 still owed on the mortgage. My brother wanted to buy out me and my sister, but he won't even talk to us about it when it comes to "when do we get our money for our share". It's been 2 years since the probate was final on my mother's estate. How long can my brother put me and my sister off before we get what is owed to us? And what, if anything can me and my sister do legally to get what we are owed? Another deal between my brother and sister that I should mention. Last May, 2010, my brother and sister signed an agreement (or lein as as the lawyer referred to it), that my brother would have 1 year to come up with her part of the money from the estate. When my sister reminded him he had a little over a month to fullfill the agreement, he told her not to call him again, that he would send her the money when he had it. Can we make him sell the estate and split the prophets 3 ways even if he doesn't agree? Can my sister forclose on the lein agreement in order to make him pay her her part? If you can supply answers to these questions, I would greatly appreciate it.
Thanks for your help.
Sandra Epps Robbs [email protected]
Hi,

With regard to your post:

My sister, brother and I inherited the estate of our parents who both passed away in 2007. My father passed away in April 2007 and my mother followed in Nov. 2007. Their will wasn't accepted by probate court because it was a copy and not the original. But, according to probate, everything went to my mother when my father died. Since my mother passed away before my father's probate was final, she did not have the chance to do another will, therefore all property was divided between me, my sister and brother. So was your mom's estate then probated? By who, your brother? Did he get the title to the house put in all three names?

In order for forclosure to keep from happening on the house, my brother and his family moved into my parents house and paid off the $5,000 still owed on the mortgage. Doesn't change anything.

My brother wanted to buy out me and my sister, but he won't even talk to us about it when it comes to "when do we get our money for our share". It's been 2 years since the probate was final on my mother's estate. How long can my brother put me and my sister off before we get what is owed to us? First of all,if the house is in your names as it should be, you need to file a suit for partition and forced sale. While you are at it, you will want to sue for the fair market value of the rental that your brother availed himself of but forgot to pay for. It can be offset by the $5k he paid to get rid of the mortgage, as well as 2/3 of property tax expenses, etc. if he paid your 1/3 and your sister's 1/3 of the tax.

And what, if anything can me and my sister do legally to get what we are owed? Unfortunately, the only legal thing you can do is sue him, as noted above.

Another deal between my brother and sister that I should mention. Last May, 2010, my brother and sister signed an agreement (or lein as as the lawyer referred to it), that my brother would have 1 year to come up with her part of the money from the estate. When my sister reminded him he had a little over a month to fullfill the agreement, he told her not to call him again, that he would send her the money when he had it. Can we make him sell the estate and split the prophets 3 ways even if he doesn't agree? Of course!

Can my sister forclose on the lein agreement in order to make him pay her her part? Presumably, if it was a valid mortgage lien. That of course means suit. I would get a real estate lawyer immediately. If your brother has been living scott free for 2+ years (I'd say from the time your mom passed til now), he may very well get nothing from the sale, since he owes so much back rent! That may teach him a tough lesson about taking from others what is not his.

If you can supply answers to these questions, I would greatly appreciate it.


Hope this helps. You and your sister appear to have ALL the legal power here. You just have to go do it. Incidentally, if he was the 'personal rep' of the estate, he could be liable for breach of fiduciary duty as well, theft, etc.

Good luck.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.

To answer your questions. My mom's probate was final in March 2009. My mother was in bad health and wanted me, the eldest, to be personal rep of my fathers estate (who passed away first) and my brother was the personal rep of my mother's estate. Since he moved into the home (of the estate), I figured it would be more convenient for him to be PR, especially since I live an hour away from the homestead and my sister lives out of state. The mortgage lein was something my sister and brother did in the lawyers office, so I'm assuming it is a reputable agreement. The rental I spoke of is the estate home itself (not a separate property). The estate lawyer handling the probate told me and my sister that we could charge my brother rent until he decided to pay us for our part...but he took offense and complained about that. And yes, my brother has been living scott free for more than 2 years and acts like he gets mad at me and my sister because he OWES us.

Thanks for your answers.

 

Hi again,

To answer your questions. My mom's probate was final in March 2009. My mother was in bad health and wanted me, the eldest, to be personal rep of my fathers estate (who passed away first) and my brother was the personal rep of my mother's estate. I understand.

 

Since he moved into the home (of the estate), I figured it would be more convenient for him to be PR, especially since I live an hour away from the homestead and my sister lives out of state. As PR, he is responsible for 'preserving' income generating assets, such as real estate, and either preparing it for sale or renting it out to generate income for the estate and its beneficiaries.

 

The mortgage lein was something my sister and brother did in the lawyers office, so I'm assuming it is a reputable agreement. I'm not sure I get it - she had a lien against him for what exactly? The rental I spoke of is the estate home itself (not a separate property). The estate lawyer handling the probate told me and my sister that we could charge my brother rent Absolutely, and did you?

 

until he decided to pay us for our part...but he took offense and complained about that. If you permitted him to live their free, you may be stuck now. But, you can change that at any time.

 

And yes, my brother has been living scott free for more than 2 years and acts like he gets mad at me and my sister because he OWES us. I'd make him pay rent - unless I was terribly wealthy and he was a saint and good samaritan doing good around the world for little pay :)

Thanks for your answers. Good luck.

 

Because I help people like you here, for a living---this is not a hobby for me---I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX abiding by the honor system with regard to Accepting answers, by Clicking your ACCEPT button now. Feel free to follow up after, if you need clarification. An Accept also assures that I can assist you again. A BONUS is a wonderful way to tell the expert her time and effort are appreciated. I wish you the best in your future.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

I'm not sure about the "lein" deal between my brother and sister since I wasn't there. The way my brother tells it is, he paid my sister $2000 toward the inheritance and the rest would be put against a lein. I believe my brother said that this would take my sister's name from the deed as 1/3 owner of the estate. I don't know how he could do that, but I do know they went to a lawyer's office to draw up the agreement. He had 1 year to pay the rest. I think my brother also told my sister that he was going to deduct the rent he paid her from her share of the estate...can he do that?

Are you saying since we now let him live in the home free of rent that we cannot get rent in the future, or are you saying we can't get back rent, when you say we may be stuck? No, I am not wealthy. My husband draws a disability check and I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in Oct. 2009 and have a lawyer working on my disability case, but so far I've not drawn any income for over a year when my long term disability ran out. That is why I am desparate to collect on my inheritance. And trust me, my brother is no saint and the only person he thinks about is himself. Thanks

I'm not sure about the "lein" deal between my brother and sister since I wasn't there. The way my brother tells it is, he paid my sister $2000 toward the inheritance and the rest would be put against a lein. In any event, it shouldn't effect you. I believe my brother said that this would take my sister's name from the deed as 1/3 owner of the estate. I don't know how he could do that, but I do know they went to a lawyer's office to draw up the agreement. He had 1 year to pay the rest. Sounds like he bought her interest, she held the mortgage, and yes, if she secured it with the property itself, if he breached, she should have her property back.

 

I think my brother also told my sister that he was going to deduct the rent he paid her from her share of the estate...can he do that? No, he owes rent because he is using the property. Whatever the FMV is, if it is 1000/mo, he would owe 2/3 to be split between you and your sister, if she is owner.

Are you saying since we now let him live in the home free of rent that we cannot get rent in the future, No, but if you did't charge him rent before and this house is no longer in probate but has been properly transferred to you, you can't retroactivly charge him rent. However, if he lived in the house while it was in probate before it was given to you, he as PR had a duty to get FMV for that property for those months...i.e. charge himself rent....

 

or are you saying we can't get back rent, Yes, that is what I am saying...

 

when you say we may be stuck? Yes, unless you really didn't agree to that, but he just did it and didn't pay.....May be tough to prove....

 

No, I am not wealthy. My husband draws a disability check and I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in Oct. 2009 and have a lawyer working on my disability case, but so far I've not drawn any income for over a year when my long term disability ran out. That is why I am desparate to collect on my inheritance. And trust me, my brother is no saint and the only person he thinks about is himself. Thanks Welcome. I'd go get him. And, if you didn't actually agree to let him live in your house for free (and who would believe you did?? Given the cost, your situation, etc.. It could just be that he took what wasn't his to take...you MAY be able to get him for back rent. I'd speak to a lawyer......You and your sister perhaps can do this together.

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