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Mother died 1 mo. ago & left a home that was paid for to her 4 children, no will. My sibling, a hoarder, lived with Mother for

Hattiesburg, MS |

the past 10 yrs . Need to clear out , clean up , do cosmetic improvements . Sibling not cooperating , need to know legal actions that can be taken to get sibling to cooperate & get house sold . Sibling is not able to buy or take care of house ever . It will deteriorate more the longer it isn't taken care of .

Attorney Answers 5


  1. First, I am not a Mississippi lawyer so I can only apply general law principles. If your mother left her home to the four of year equally as tenants in common then you can utilize a partition action to forece a sale of the home. Not knowing the mechanism that was used to "leave" the home to you it may be necessary to probate your mother's will and to secure a court order for the sale of the home. See a lawyer in Hattiesburg (nice town - I've been there) who is familiar with wills and trusts.

    This is a general answer only and you should seek the advice of counsel to address facts specific to your circumstances.


  2. I agree with Attorney Hackard. If there was a deed leaving the property to the four of you, that would mean that you are all essentially "partners" with respect to the house. If the property is in your mom's name alone, then probate would be necessary. In that case, the person appointed as administrator of the estate would be in charge. That person could dictate who has access to the house and who does not, to the extent that he or she could evict your sister, if necessary. I would expect that this would result in contested proceedings, so you should definitely have legal representation. A visit to an attorney is called for, at any rate, to determine where you stand, at this point.

    I am very sorry for your loss and your continuing difficulties.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  3. You need to start a probate proceeding without a will.
    The executor can control the property and take steps
    to remove your sibling and place the property for sale.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.


  4. While you need to sit down with an attorney and discuss all the details to get your options, I agree that a "partition" action may be your best option. That would separate your rights from that of your other siblings and would certainly be appropriate if you cannot agree on how to handle the property. Either way, you need to get a clean title to the house, which you may only be able to do through the estate/probate filing process.


  5. If the estate has not been open via an Administration, you should petition the Chancery Court of Forrest County (if your mother lived in Forrest County) to be appointed as Administrator of the Estate. Being appointed the Administrator of the Estate provides you with the authority to administer her estate properly.

    Additionally, if she died without a Will then a petition to determine heirs should be filed within the estate to legally determine who the heirs at law of your mother are. This is an important step because after the estate is closed, if the house has not been sold within the estate administration, a deed from the Estate will need to be prepared and filed conveying the property from the Estate to the heirs at law. Attached to the deed (or referenced in the deed) will be the order determining heirship. This creates a link in the chain of title that will enable you and your siblings to convey good, marketable title upon the sale of the property.

    As to the hoarding aspect of your sibling, as Administrator you are required to inventory the estate. This gives you the authority via the court to go through the home and "inventory" the assets belonging to your mother. If your sibling is a hoarder, and the property will pass to you and all your siblings, as a part of the inventory process you can petition the Court for an order requiring the cleaning of the property in the event your efforts at inventorying your mother's assets are thwarted by your hoarding sibling. Chancellors are many times very willing to assist the administrator with any appropriate orders necessary to enable the administrator to complete their duties.

    No attorney-client relationship has been formed by this answer. The answer given herein should not be your only inquiry into the matter or issue. You should schedule an appointment and seek the advice of a competent estate and probate attorney to fully explain the facts so that the attorney can make an informed decision and advise you of all of your rights.

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