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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 40991
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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My father passed away suddenly almost 2 years ago with no will

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My father passed away suddenly almost 2 years ago with no will in place. My step mother assigned herself as administrator, hired a probare attorney and said nothing was to leave the property (which belonged to my father beforethey were married). My 4 siblings and I hold 2/3 rights to the property. There has been no contact between us since his funeral.
An inventory list was created. There were only a few personal items that we wanted. It was my fathers verbal wish that the house stay in the family, however she could live there as long as she wished. We were all fine with that, she wasn't. So, going into probate the property was to be sold. She drug her feet for a long while streaching this out over many court dates and continuances, and changing from the probate attorney to an estate attorney. At the final court date the judge told her she was going to have to vacate the property (she has another property belonging to only her), and that she was failing at her duties as administrator. At this point she claimed that more of her money had gone into the property and basically that it was all hers under community property law, so she was given time to collect proof of that claim (which she couldn't sufficiently do). So now the next step would be litigation. Which she did not want either
So after some time my siblings and I figured up an arrangement that everyone agreed upon. As this was being written up last week for everyone to sign, so that we could end this my father's property burned to the ground in a large fire along with 67 other homes including my stepmother's other house. His assets were never distributed, and now all personal effects are gone.
She is wanting to rebuild on my father's property, which we absolutly do not want. Does she have the right to make this decision without our agreement? She is now back with the probate attorney which our estate attorney advised me to speak to, as she is att a loss. He would not speak to me as he is her attorney. We don't know where to go from here nor can we get a clear answer as to what our righs are as his heirs. We just want this to be over with as quickly and cleanly as possible, any information or advice you can give would be much appreciated. Thank you for your time.

Hello and good evening.I am Ray and I will be assisting you tonight.

Here if you have a 2/3 interest the court would order the land sold here as it is.Unless she is willing to purchase from the estate at a court approved price here she cannot rebuild.The judge would certainly not permit this nor would she be able to finance a loan again unless the heirs including you agreed to it and court approved it.

Your lawyer here if you are represented should pursue a sale of the property.The court would set the terms.The court really should hold any insurance proceeds as they now belong to the estate and heirs if there was any.

You have the right to seek to force a court ordered sale and have the lot here sold as is for what you can get for it.If the step mother wants to pay the court approved price then she could do so.Otherwise it gets listed and sold and the proceeds divide among the heirs again with court approval.

If you don't have a lawyer then you may consider writing the court yourself and seeking to set a hearing on this matter and some resolution.You do have property rights in all of this that have been trampled on by the delays.Getting this back in front of the judge and a court ordered sale seems to be the only fair resolution here for you and should be your goal.

I appreciate the chance to assist you tonight. Please let me know if you have more follow up. Thanks again.



If you don't have your own lawyer you may consider doing so and to seek her removal as personal representative as well as a quick court ordered sale of property.You have been denied too long here.Certainly I can understand your frustration.I think the judge if you pursue this will order such a sale.

Lawyer referral just in case.

RayAnswers and other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is this something that the courts will take control of if requested at this point? There is still 65K owed to the bank for the home. How will the insurance part of this be handled with the courts?

The insurance should pay the settlement into the registry of the court so the court either divides them here as part of resolution.And yes the court here should take charge of all of this and issue some orders to resolve this and move on.


I do wish you the best.I am so sorry you have had to deal with all of this.I am sure it has been very frustrating.

Chris, thank you for your positive rating of my service to you. Let me know if you need more help or have future questions. I will be here for you. Just ask for me by name at the start of your question - "Ray" .

Best wishes and good luck to you.

If it is not too much trouble, when you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JA/Pearl in a day or two, please consider rating me highly (9 or 10). It affects my ability to continue to assist you and other customers on JA/Pearl and would be most appreciated.

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