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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55306
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My mother passed away April 28th,in Indiana where she had lived.According

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My mother passed away April 28th,in Indiana where she had lived.According to my sisters daughters,who have seen my mothers will, my sister and I share the estate 50/50. How do I obtain a copy of the will that my sister refuses to produce.My brother in-law told me one of my nieces intends to buy her home to keep it in the family. The County property appraiser report values the home at $100,000. They intend to sell the home to their daughter for $80,000. What are my rights as far as selling the home and her assets. I live in Florida and am unable to go back and forth to Indiana to resolve this problem.Is my signature required on all transactions concerning her estate since I am a50% heir? What legal steps should I take?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good evening. The will should name an executor who will then need to be officially appointed by the probate court as executor which will then give that person official authorization to administer the estate. Until that time, no one has any authority to do anything with your mother's assets. Even if the will names your sister as executor, the estate and his assets are not your sister's personal piggy bank. If she doesn't produce the will and cause it to be filed, you can file your own petition with the court asking the court to order it produced and filed. The court will then order your sister to produce it and if she does not, she will be held in contempt of court and subject to civil and/or criminal sanctions. Once administration begins, the executor has a fiduciary duty to each beneficiary and each beneficiary is entitled to a copy of the full inventory of assets and periodic accounting of every dime in and out of the estate. With regard to the house, prior to any sale to a related party, the executor is going to have to have the house appraised by an independent appraiser and no sale for less than that amount is going to be allowed. Even with the appraisal, if you object to the price, you can ask the court to prohibit the sale to the daughter. A typical estate, presuming no unusual complexity can be completed with 6-9 months of the date of death. If the executor fails to produce the inventory, periodic accounting, and/or fails to timely administer the estate, you can file to have the executor removed for breach of fiduciary duty. If there is any misappropriation of estate assets, you can also ask the court to award actual and punitive damages against the executor.

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