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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 31672
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I have a question
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'm licensed in Tennessee. Let me know your question and I'll try to respond. Thanks!

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I have a question about property given 1/2 to me in the form of "lifetime rights". My sister was on the original will and got 1/2 lifetime rights. She was the executrix when the will was probated. She got the deed put in her 2 daughters names and unfortunately since I have to children, I have never set foot on the property and she says she will have me arrested if I do. Now she is trying to sell it for half a million dollars. My mother died in 1993 so all this was a long time ago. I was going to put a injunction on the sale.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Can you help?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

Thanks for the information.

I'm typing your answer now......

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
What can I do?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

If you own a life estate/have a life estate interest in the property, then you have a right to occupy the property until your death.....but you don't actually own an interest in the property. Instead, it's just a right to occupy the property.

Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

Thus, you couldn't be arrested for going onto the property because your life estate rights. Also, your sister couldn't sell the property in fee simple without you signing off on it because of your life estate.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
i can visit anytime I want without her permission? What should I do about the sale?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

If you refused to sign, the sale would be subject to your life estate ---- which would like drive away any prospective buyers as they likely wouldn't want to share the property with you until your death IF they were to purchase it outright.

Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

If you have a life estate in the property, then that means you have the right to occupy/live at the property until you pass away.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I don't have a key and she says she will call the police. What should I do She also has broken the will that says it should remain in the blood lines od the family and her husband is on the deed? I am in SC
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
They are both retired from the CIA
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

The best thing you could do is hire an attorney to file a petition for a permanent restraining order to keep her from denying you access to the property.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
A restraining order for her? She lives there and has built a new house there!
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
There are 2 houses there. My parents and hers. It is 10 acres on a lake.
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

No, an order to stop her from denying you access. The bot***** *****ne is that if you were left a life estate to the property, then you're entitled to enjoy/use that life estate and she can't stop you from doing just that.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Who do I send this order to? The realtor? Or her and can I do it by mail by myself?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

You'd file for the TRO against your sister and ask the court to issue the order. You'd then have to serve your sister with the notice and have a court date.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The will was probated in SC. The property is in Hixon and I am in Charleston. Which court and can I do this myself by going up there?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

You should have to file in the county where the property is located.....

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
OK so Hamilton County. Which court? Probate? Small claims? Can I do itmyself?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

It would be very difficult to file this on your own, so you should hire a lawyer if at all possible.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Should I send to by way of a notory or what/ I should send it to her husband too, right?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
How much are we talking about here?
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Can I use a lawyer here or in Tenn. and which court/
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

You'd need an attorney licensed in SC to file this for you.....as for costs, that would depend on how much fighting your sister wants to do.....but you're probably looking at a few thousand dollars, at the least.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
can I ask you things for a week. I really have to do it myself. I am very poor. What would I get out of it? Could I lose?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

Also, you'd likely have to file this in Circuit Court.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Why not Tenn.?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

Here's a link to the SC Court system that outlines the jurisdiction for each trial court: http://www.judicial.state.sc.us/

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Can you send me an email of what you have told me?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

If you can't afford an attorney, you may want to contact the SC Bar Association and ask for help locating a local legal aid office that may be able to assist you.

You can't file in Tennessee because the property is located in SC.....and SC courts would be the only court system with in rem jurisdiction over the property.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No the property is in Tenn!
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

I can't email you, but you can bookmark this link or copy and paste it into an email to yourself (we don't have access to email customers).

Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

Oh, I thought you said the property was in Charleston, SC.......sorry if I misread. In that case, you can file in the county where the property is located......and you can seek help from the Tenn. Bar Assn. to find a pro bono lawyer.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Probatd in SC and property is in Chatanooga
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

Ok.......you should be able to file for a restraining order in Hamilton County Chancery Court

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
I don't know how to do that.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
You mean I have rights to the house she has built too?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

I understand that ---- that's why you need to seek help from a local legal aid office. You can call the Tenn. Bar Assn. for help locating a lawyer that can help.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
she has remodeled the other house< How do I get inside. And the gate is locked>
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

What rights you have depends on what the life estate says, what the will/probate documents say, etc., but your life estate is a valid right to occupy the property.

The TRO will allow you to gain access and stop her from keeping you out.

Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

You really need to try and find a local lawyer to help you as I can only give you some information and direction....but I can't be as much help as a local attorney can.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The will just talks about lifetime rights. What about the deed being in her name? I ws told the deed superceeded the will.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
that I should have contested it back then.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Is a TRO the temp res order?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

If the deed came after your mother's death (which is my understanding), then the will should take precedence.

Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

If your mother deeded the property to your sister BEFORE her death, then the deed would take priority.

Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

Yes, the TRO is a temporary restraining order.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
There was the deed done 6 months before her death and the will done twice before her death. She got y Mother to sign it but then Mom made another will after the deeds saying the lifetime rights.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
My Mom probabyb believed anything my sister told her. She would have signed anything my sister told her to.
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

That's probably going to take someone looking at the deed documents/language and the wills to determine where things stand. But, if the deed was signed by your mom before her death, then you may be in a very precarious legal position.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
She got my uncle on my dad's side to do the deed and he was in a wheelcjair.
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

But, it's worth having a local lawyer take a look at the land records and deed filings, her will, etc. to tell you whether there's anything to pursue or not as I obviously can't do that through this forum.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Why do they keep cutting me off?I have a copyofall the paperwork. I have done my homework. So hthe circuit court of SC or Tenn? The property is in Tenn
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

If the property is in Tennessee, then the chancery court of Hamilton County should be the proper jurisdiction.

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
The deed was in her 2 children's names. Now it is in her name. The lifetime rights are in a willdone before and adter the deeds
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Can I file the TRO in circuit court myself?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

The will AFTER the deed may not matter because your mom didn't have anything to transfer at that point because she had already transferred the property. But, the will could show your mother's intention and that your sister took advantage of her to get what she wanted.

You can file the matter yourself (in CHANCERY COURT for Tennessee), but you'll have to draft all of the documents as there aren't any forms. But, legal aid could be the best help if you don't/can't hire a lawyer.

Expert:  Roger replied 7 months ago.

Hi - please let me know if you need anything further. Also, please take time to positively rate our conversation so I may receive credit for assisting you. Thanks again!

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