My Mom passed away the first part of November. My sister was listed as executor and was able to transferred the house to all 4 of us kids names without going through probate. One sister previously lived there, and still remains. What can I do now, that the house is in our names. The money was in the executor's name and my mom's so she took the funds. I don't want to incur costs for the home. The sister that lives there wants to remain and possibly buy, but wants it for little or nothing. We don't seem to be able to come to an agreement, and the executor says everything is in her control and we will have to pay for electric and water eventually even though the sister i living there. She also won't split the items in the home. It was supposed to be split also.
This is an unworkable arrangement. You need to get with an estates attorney immediately as your sister may have breached here breached her duties here. Not sure how the property was transferred without probate. But you should get with an attorney to protect your fair market value interest in the home. Stop getting pushed around here and get counsel to stand up for your rights.
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Estate Planning Attorney
Your problem is a common one. I must assume that if the house was transferred to the four of your this quickly that the deed was "Transfer on Death" and that the deed is now in the joint names of the four children. There are other issues, but let's deal with the real estate first.
If it is, in fact, now deeded to the four of you jointly, you have the equivalent of a partnership. Each of you owns 1/4 of the house. The sister who is living in the house must pay an rent to live there, and the rent must be agreeable to the other 3. If she does not, you have the right to go to court and force a sale. To do this, you should speak with a real estate attorney who is wiling to represent you in a lawsuit against your sister.
You also say the "executor says everything is in her control." Both things can't be true. Either the house has been transferred to you or it has not. If it has, the Executor has the same rights as the other 3 to the house, and she does not control it. If the house has not transferred, it is still subject to the orders of the probate court. It sounds to me as though your Executor sister has not retained an attorney to administer the estate, which in a factual situation such as you describe is unwise and unfair to the other inheritors. You need to consult with an attorney before this gets any messier. There are two fine Cincinnati attorneys who are regular participants on Avvo: Paul Nidich and Elliot Stapleton. You should contact one of them to schedule an appointment to review all the paperwork and advise you as to your options.
Mr. Huddleston is an Ohio-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, with offices in Columbus and Dayton, serving client families and private business owners throughout Ohio. He may be contacted directly by phone toll-free at 888.488.7878 or by email CLH@HUDDLAW.COM. Mr. Huddleston responds to Avvo questions as a public service to help educate and provide general guidance to questioners, but his responses are not legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship.
Attorney Huddleston has given you excellent advice. I would follow up on his recommendations.
Any response given to a question is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship between this lawyer or this firm and anyone else. Any response is to be considered as a general response to a hypothetical set of facts and is not intended to be, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice.
Estate Planning Attorney
In addition to or to clarify what Mr. Huddleston mentioned, even if the Executor HAS hired an attorney to advise and administer the estate, it is not uncommon for other beneficiaries to consult their own attorney separately and privately (as he suggested) if there are still concerns and/or issues with the way the estate process is going.