My sibling is the personal representative to the estate which there are three sibling heirs. She spent tens of thousands of dollars to renovate the homestead, she replaced the carpets with hardwood floods for example and much more, she ran out of money in the estate and added some of her own. The estate lawyer is under the impression that I was aware and approved of her spending spree. I was not aware and had warned her not to do this very thing. They have it listed in the estate profit and loss statement as repairs to the homestead. They want me to pay into the estate to reimburse her for the money she personally spent after the estate money was gone. Is this legal? If not would the legal battle to fight this be lengthy and expensive?
The legal battle will vary based on whether the case goes all the way to trial or if there is a settlement. You need to contact estate litigation counsel in the county where the estate is being administered to review the will to determine if she should have spent any money fixing it or sold it as is. Generally, the executor of an estate is not supposed to improve the property but sell it as is, other than necessary repairs such as fixing a leaking roof. Of course, the legal fees you may have to pay may be more than your share of reimbursement to your sister. So obtain from the attorney an estimate re fees and costs.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Based on the limited information given, it is likely that if you objected to the document filed that the Court would order the parties to mediation before there would be a full hearing on the issue. Whether it would be financially worthwhile would be dependent upon the amount being objected to and the number of heirs. Many lawyers, including myself, offer a free consultation, and I would suggest that you contact an attorney in Tampa to consult on this issue to have a realistic view of what may be involved.
Eileen D. Jacobs, Esq.
Office: 2505 W. Virginia Avenue
Tampa, FL 33607
Mailing: P.O. Box 14953
Clearwater, Florida 33766-4953
You have a tough position. If the repairs increased the value of the property, or the ability to sell it, then the judge is likely to side with your sibling. She was not required to advance money to the estate, (and neither are you), but she would likely be entitled to reimbursement for monies that she HAS paid. You also run the risk of seeming petty, unless the money spent was clearly wasteful of estate assets.
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