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If your wife is the 19 year old she needs to act by file a probate action on behalf of the last to die of her parents to get the legal authority to sell the house and retain any equity in the house. That way she can recoup the life insurance that paid for the funeral and burial and split balance of the equity with her older brother (it does not matter if he is reliable or not)
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I agree with Mr. Weiner. It is not clear what needs to be done, (Or SHOULD be done), under the limited facts provided. Does the home have equity or is it underwater? Are there other assets that need to be probated? Does the 19 year old want to try to keep the home? It is not clear whether there is a Will or Trust or how the assets (including the home) are titled. Much more information is needed. A consultation with an attorney certainly could help illuminate some of the options.
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