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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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My father passed away and I inherited a property that was already

Customer Question

My father passed away and I inherited a property that was already rented by a family unit. The family is receiving Disability Social Security for certain ailments. They have been renting the property now for approximately 6 or 7 years and are wanting to continue to rent the property on a rent-to-own basis. My father left the property to his 7 children and the estate has never been probated. In my father's last will and testament, I was named as the 'executor' of the estate and I don't know what my rights are at this point. At this time the family is not willing to sell the property and are not wanting to rent the property on a rent-to-own basis. There are more aggravating circumstances concerning this case but as I stated, I don't know what I need to do at this point! Ill start with the following question:
1. What are my rights at this time and to what extent can the family that is renting the property do legally to get what they want?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 2 years ago.
I am sorry to hear about this situation. We need to discuss certain topics here.WHY PROBATEWhen someone passes away, then their estate has to be distributed. The problem is that without probate - with assets such as titled property or bank accounts (those that do not have a pay on death clause) - this is hard to do. This is because you cannot switch over the assets without an order from the probate court, and simply a Certificate of Death will not do. A Certificate of Death simply states that someone has passed on, but does not give you the right to really do anything in the deceased's name.So one files probate. Once probate is filed, the Executor of the estate gets something called a Letter of Testament/Administration (hereinafter "Letter"). This Letter will allow the Executor to switch over the assets from the deceased individual to whoever will own the property. It is like a "Power of Attorney," but from the Court. Without that Letter, there is no way to transfer titled property and switch the assets into the beneficiaries' names.If there was a Will, the beneficiaries are decided per the Will. If there was no will, the beneficiaries are decided by default succession law of the state.THIS SITUATIONSee HERE. Since it has been more than 4 years, muniment of title is arguably the best option here.The family should not be controlling the property. It should be divided amongst those that he stated in the will, via a probate process.I hope this helps and clarifies. Gentle Reminder: Use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars or failing to submit the rating does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith.