My father and his girlfriend eached owned half of the residential property they lived in. When my father passed, he directed his girlfriend recieve a life estate to his half of the property, with remainder shares divided evenly among his children upon her passing. The girlfriend lives on the property, in Florida, and maintains it. She claims she can force us, the remainder holders to sell our shares to her, and that we owe her money to maintain those shares.. Is this true?
Not unless the document that established the ownership interests provides that. It would be relatively rare to have that kind of an agreement, but probably not unheard of. I would want to see it in black and white before giving her anything. It would probably be beneficial for you to meet with a probate attorney and determine exactly what you have, before speaking with her about how you are going to proceed.
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Elder Law Attorney
Attorney Frederick i right about the law in general. Since the property is iin Florida, the rights will be determined by Florida law. You need a Florida attorney.
Estate Planning Attorney
I suggest you find a real estate attorney in the county where the property is located. Some wil give you a free initial consultation. Either scan-in the original deed, will and probate documents to the computer so that they are ready to be emailed or have a fax available to send the documents (such as at an office store). Do not try to explain it over the phone. It is better for you to be well organized, make a phone appointment with the attorney and email/fax documents before the appointment so that the attorney has an opportunity to review them. He/she can probably give you a quick answer with the documents in hand. Good luck to you.
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