How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37400
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am co-trustee with my brother of my mother's estate. I had

Customer Question

I am co-trustee with my brother of my mother's estate. I had the house appraised at the time of her death. My brother has delayed settlement over the past 2 years in a 50-50 split outlined quite clearly in the settlement. The delays were deliberate and he offers no explanation. 18 months after settlement proceeding went into action, he starts asking for all sorts of terms never discussed at the time of her death or in the past 18 months. Now he is demanding another appraisal thinking he will get more money. However I am the one who wants the house and has maintained the property over the past 5 years which includes the time my mother got sick and after her death. I was her sole caretaker, he did nothing. I have had to use my own funds to maintain and take care of the property. I know the house will appraise for higher than the appraisal at the time of her death because of market values and improvements I have made in the house. Since the house will go to me in the settlement, I want to keep the original appraisal price. What recourse do I have?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
From a purely legal perspective, an appraisal is not considered to have much validity after 6 months due to the ever changing real estate market.
So if he filed a motion in the probate court to have the house re-appraised with the probate court, it would likely be granted.
However, after mother passed, it would be the estate's responsibility to pay for any maintenance or repairs that needed to be made to maintain the property. So if you have paid these personally, you would be entitled to be reimbursed from the estate assets for those costs.
As for improvements, if you have voluntarily invested in improvements to the property, equitably you should receive the benefit of those improvements at least to the extent of being reimbursed for your costs. I don't believe a judge would allow him to benefit from the money that you put into improving the house without being responsible for half the costs.

Related Estate Law Questions