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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55294
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My mother died and willed her house to her 5 sons. I am one

Customer Question

My mother died and willed her house to her 5 sons. I am one of them. We have agreed that three of us that live locally will "buy out" the other two so there is no dispute involved and no debts. All her other assets were distributed per the will. One brother is an executor named in the will but the house remains in her name. The house was assessed at $250,000. To deal with this I guess we have to go to probate. What exactly can a probate lawyer do, at what price, and do we really need one?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 2 years ago.
Hi! My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you!
Unfortunately, you will need to go through probate, but it is not a difficult process. The reason probate is necessary is that the court must validate that the will is the valid last will and testament of your mom and the court must officially appoint the brother as executor and issue documentation evidencing that appointment so others can rely on the will and the appointment. This is for your protection; otherwise, anyone could come up with a fictitious will and transfer estate assets. Once officially appointed, the executor then has the legal authority to transfer title to the property. Because there are multiple beneficiaries, the court will require a lawyer to file the petition with the court. Under my terms of service with JustAnswer, I'm not allowed to make a specific recommendation, but I can give you direction. You would want to either contact the state bar association or your nearest law school for a referral. I prefer the latter because they take great pride in their graduates and will take a more personal interest in making sure your referral is a good one because it will be a reflection of the school. But, this is not a complicated case so you would only need a 1-2 year lawyer rather than a more experienced lawyer with the higher billing rate that comes with that experience. You should be able to get the probate proceeding done for under $1,000.
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