sister name. before she died she wrote on a piece of paper that when she dies if I decide I want to stay and live in the house i would have to get a loan and pay my 4 siblings off and i would have 2 years to do this, but if i decide to not stay there the house is to be sold and split between us five siblings with me getting an addiational 20 k because I finisihed the basement. I decided not to stay and my sister is coming up with all the reason why we shouldn't sell it. Is there anything I can do to make her sell the house. this paper was signed by my mother, sister and I. Everyone in our family is aware of what my moms wishes were.
Criminal Defense Attorney
There are a lot of potential issues in your question. I highly recommend that you find an attorney in your area to go over everything and to help you weigh your options.
Thomas A. Schaeffer, Esq. Law Office of Juarez and Schaeffer PO Box 16216, San Diego, CA 92105 (619) 804-4327 www.jslaw.org This posting is provided for "informational purposes" only and should not be relied upon as "legal advice." Nothing transmitted from this posting constitutes the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. Applicability of the legal principals discussed here may differ substantially in individual situations or in different States.
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Estate Planning Attorney
It always amazes me when people write stuff on pieces of paper and then come to lawyers to try to figure out whether what was done has any legal power.
To the rest of you who are reading the question and answer, PLEASE seek the help of a lawyer BEFORE you decide to write on that piece of paper. We may not always get it right, but you stand a better chance of having your wishes upheld after you're gone.
To the writer of this question: There are so many problems with what was done, that I am unable to sort it all out for you in the space which is provided here.
My advice: Take your Piece of Paper to a lawyer and tell him or her all the facts to see if this salad of facts can be straightened out.
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Estate Planning Attorney
My colleagues are correct. Your best bet is to meet with a local lawyer to explore your specific circumstances. I will add that without seeing the paper (or what was written on it), I doubt that it has any legal effect.
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I agree with my colleagues. You could have a HUGE mess on your hands. It appears from your summary that your sister is now the legal owner of the home. That may not be the case, however, because your father may have an interest in the property, as well. But if your sister is the owner, the house is hers and she is under no obligation to sell or divide any sale proceeds. You *might* have a claim for your services, but you might not. In many areas, only a licensed contractor can collect for their work on a home. So you have MANY issues to sort out, here. It sounds like your sister is trying to honor her understanding of your mother's wishes, even though she may have no legal obligation to do so. If you press this issue too hard, she may find out that she can tell you to take a giant leap. A lawyer can (and probably should) review the documents. There may be absolutely nothing you can do.
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