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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
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Experience:  Estate Law Expert
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I am executor to my moms half of my parents owned. Since

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I am executor to my mom's half of my parents owned. Since i took care of her as her full time nurse for four years she left me 100% of her half of the house AND contents. It went through probate fine. Two months later my dad unexpectedly died in sicily. It took forever to get the will and even though my brother is executer he did not do any of the leg work to get the death certificate. I have been doing everything. I am the youngest. It is very taxing and maintaining this big house and my own. I am also disabled and my mother wanted to help me get my life back together because i put my life on hold (gladly) and would do it again if needed. I don't think my sister can not do anything except accepting the 16.67% of what I sell the house for. The house will bring between 200 - 250k and is free and clear. My lawyer is slow and not aggressive. HELP! My father left his 50% of the house split equally for us children. My lawyer sent paperwork to my brother (executer) and sister to make me the power of attorney. My brother signed the paperwork but my sister will not unless she gets all the furniture in the house. No assets were left to my sister. All that was given to her was 33.33% of my dads half. My question is can she extort me from selling the house? She wont sign the laywers paperwork unless she gets the furniture. I need to have an estate sale to help put a new oven, $1,500.00 and new roof, $6,000.00. I cannot put the house on the market without these things repaired and I will put it on my credit card if i know she cannot get in my way legally. Nothing on my Mom's will gives anything to her and all the assets in the house were willed to me.

Hello, and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today.

If I understand your question correctly you are asking if you sister can prevent the sale of the house.

The answer is a qualified "no". The only reason it is qualified is she can prevent a sale of the house by buying your shares from you and your brother. Technically it is the same to you as if it is sold since you would get the same amount of money but it isn't an absolute sale because she obviously wouldn't have to pay for the share that she already owns.

If this isn't clear please be sure and ask any follow up questions in this thread.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So, because she is not an executer and only willed 33,33% of my fathers side she cannot stop the sale or go to the courthouse and stop it there? Does she need to sign anything when the offer/sale of the home when the lawyer distributes the money? Also, can I list all of the expenses so a portion of those expenses are paid by my brother and sister? Are your answers pertinent to the laws of Virginia, USA or "general" information. How long have you been an estate lawyer? Thank you.

She could, possibly, hold up the sale temporarily but she cannot stop it long term. If the house is currently in probate then the home is owned by "the estate" and not the heirs and that is who will be selling it.

Many lawyer do have heirs sign off on a variety of documents and releases when they receive their share of the funds from the estate but there is no requirement under the law that the heirs do so. What usually happens if the heir refuses to sign is the lawyer deposits the money into the registry of the court and he heir is then required to petition the court for the release of the money to them.

As to the expenses, you can ask for the court to allow you to recover your expenses and it will generally be allowed.

The answers to these questions are the same across the US since they are basic to probate law.

I've been involved with estate law for more than twenty years although primarily in the area of contested cases that are being litigated.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I put my will and death certificate from my mother into probate not long after she passed but the lawyer and probate court said i did not have to put my fathers through since it was simple and straightforward. Is this true or will there be a snag since it was not put in probate? there are no liens or bills outstanding from either parent. So you think it is safe to say for me to speed things up is to use my own money (charge card) to get the house ready and get a sign put out in the yard? it will be about 2 more months before my moms will and death certificate will be in probate for a year.

There has to be some type of probate done on your father's will to pass title to the property before it can be sold.

When someone passes away there is instantly a legal entity created called "the Estate of ...". That legal entity actually owns all of the property the deceased owned. A probate is done to pass title to the property.

There are several ways to do a probate, a full probate through the court or an informal type of probate such as an Affidavit of Heirship. The kind that you need depends on all of the facts but something has to be done or else a title insurance company won't insure title to the property and therefore it can't be financed or sold.

However, if a piece of property is owned by more than one person then that person can always file a Suit to Partition Property and the court will either divide it, which can't really be done in the case of a house, or 1) allow one or more of the heirs to buy the others out of their interests in the property or 2) order the property to be sold and the money divided.

I can't advise you as to spending your money on fixing up the house, that goes beyond what the site allows us to do, and I can't tell you how long the entire process will take. What I can tell you is that if a joint owner of the property wants their share sold then it will be sold, either to the other owners or someone else.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much, but i keep getting more possible problems.


So basically, i need my sister to sign the power of attorney which she wont do by extorting me for the furniture?


Do I need to put my fathers into probate and wait another year which the court and lawyer said i did not have to.


I am so run down from this can someone steer me in the right direction so i can begin to start my life over? Obviously, i am desporate by hirining a lawer on the internet.


can you give me a list of things to do, one at a time so i can sell this house?


Please, I am desperate and angry (not at you).

i need my sister to sign the power of attorney which she wont do by extorting me for the furniture?

No, whether your sister signs the POA or not, the property still has to have some kind of probate done so it can be sold. If you have to do some kind of probate anyway then there is no need for her to sign anything.

Do I need to put my fathers into probate and wait another year which the court and lawyer said i did not have to.

You will need to check with your lawyer and see what he is planning to do to pass title. As I said earlier, there is more than one way to pass title and do probate. He may be preparing an affidavit of heirship or something else to clear the title for a sale.

I can't give you a list of things to do because I don't know what your lawyer has done already or what he is planning to do as far as probate. My best guess based on the facts you've given is that he is planning on doing one of the informal methods so the property can be sold.

What I can tell you is that you don't have to give your sister the furniture which belongs to you to get the property sold.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I'm back to square one, in the abyss. thanks.

I'm sorry, I wish I could be more help but we are limited by the constraints of the website.

The answer to the original question "My question is can she extort me from selling the house?" was clear, the answer is no. The additional questions are more difficult and depends on the facts and what has been done so far.

I do wish you the best in this and hope your sister comes to her senses and quits causing you heartache.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Can I ask a few more questions tomorrow and how i do it? thanks

Sure. If they are follow ups to "can she extort me from selling the house?" you can just come back to this thread.

If they are not follow ups you can just post them as a new question. If you want me to answer you can start your question with "FOR JD 1992" and I will pick up as soon as I notice them. I should be online most of the day tomorrow.

In addition, even if you have new questions and open new threads, if you have follow ups to this one later you can always comeback here and post them. Once you issue your Positive Rating the question will no longer time out and you can come back here weeks or even months later and post.
Dwayne B. and 2 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR JD 1992” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.