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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22894
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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My brother in law is the only family trustee. The house

Customer Question

my brother in law is the only family trustee. The house involved has been empty for 6 months. We have $17,000 of our own money which was lent to my in laws over 20 years ago. The house is surposed to be sold, we are to get out $17,000 back and the rest divided amongst the family. We do not hear from the trustee, who is a family member and if we phone him we cannot talk to him. Originally in the will my husband and his brother were the trustees but my husband declined and asked his brother in law to be trustee. We found out 6 months ago that our brother in law could not be a trustee as a had not been appointed by the deceased which means that only one brother is trustee and he does not cooperate at all. Where do we stand without having to spend money on lawyers.
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: do you mean the state of the house?
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: the parents passed away over 20 years ago and the house was to be lived in by the youngest brother who passed away 6 months ago which means that now the house can be sold. Do we have any rights?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: don't think so, thank you. Does this cost anything?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 9 months ago.

If the trustee will not talk to you then your options are either seeing if a family mediation with a professional mediation, which will cost something, can be attempted to resolve the impasse. The other alternative is only a court action. This could resolve the issue with a number of different possibilities for court action. You do have the right to insist the property be sold, but may need court action if your brother in law will not cooperate

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