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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 12250
Experience:  JD, MBA
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How can I get one of the hiers to behave and stop making lawsuit

Customer Question

How can I get one of the hiers to behave and stop making lawsuit threats?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.
However, please provide some background? Why are threats being made?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
One of the three heirs (unfortunately is an out of work/just fired in January/alcoholic) sends texts message with threats of suing me in court. I make certain that the actions I take are fare to all not just her. If she wants to take an item or sell it-i say fine-all other heirs will be compensated in kind. Once I do this-she wants tries to reverse her request. I inform her the request has been accepted and all heirs compensated. No reversal is allowed. The heirs also agreed to sell the estate car to the heir that wanted the. The heir that had possession of the car was given 7 days to deliver said car. All heirs agreed. In fairness to heir receiving the car-I warned her to deliver car immediately on or before day 7 or forfeit a $100/day rental fee to the heir that was supposed to receive the car. She kept the car 3 weeks longer. I deducted the rental fee from the agreed upon price and sent her the remaining share. I'm a federal employee and dealing with her is decreasing my effectiveness at work.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
also I'm a prepaid legal member-what could I have them draft and send to her to get her to be civil?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again. Thanks for the additional information.
The best way to avoid threats of lawsuits is probably to stop being accommodating to specific requests. For example, if she wants to take an item and sell it, then it would probably be easier to just say no. Instead, sell the items yourself and distribute the proceeds equally. If the heir wants to buy the item from you, then that is fine, and the proceeds will be split evenly between her and the other heirs. But I would require that she pay you in cash. In other words, I would not charge it against other sums that she would ordinarily get. This way you don't need to worry about dealing with making thing fair with the other heirs. The sale would be treated no differently than if it sold to an uninterested 3rd party.
I do see one problem with what you describe. You said that you charged the heir $100 per day for a rental car. I don't think you have any authority to do that, unless there was a signed agreement stating that you could do that. Personally, I would try to avoid being in the middle of that type of arrangement. Instead, I would ask the heir to turn the car over to you, and when she does, then that is when I would make the sale to the other heir. I would not allow myself to be thrown into the middle so that you are stuck trying to make things fair between the two heirs. It is a recipe for disaster.
Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied.
PS: I'm not sure what you mean by prepaid legal member, but we are not permitted to draft any documents for customer. I apologize for that inconvenience in advance.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the catch is that I'm out of state with the other two heirs in state with the estate property. The only agreement that I have is the will. It specifically states "share and share alike"...but I do see your point about selling and given out the proceeds.If she does not act in good faith as agreed (which I expect her to)_how should I proceed to make other parties whole in the spirit of fairness as required by the will?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again.
Q: "If she does not act in good faith as agreed ..."
I'm not sure what you're asking about. In what agreement? In what way would she not act in good faith?
Are you talking about the car transaction?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
not acting in good faith would be not following thru in any agreements made by all three heirs-the will says nothing about requiring any other written agreements...would not following thru on any verbal agreements be considered to be acting in good faith?
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again.
Thank you for clarifying. I suppose that refusing the abide by an agreement would be acting in bad faith. But I would tell the heirs that it is up to them to enforce any agreements that they have with each other. There is no reason for you, as executor, to get in the middle of their disputes. If for some reason you're compelled to, then I'd just do what seems to be fair under the circumstances. That's about all you can do. Hopefully things won't end up in court, but if they do, then you should be okay so long as you followed the will and any agreement made between the estate and the heirs.