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What to do if siblings have deed in both names and the residing sibling refuses access to the other to obtain estate assets?

Bayshore, NY |

Home was inheritance..deed now in both siblings names...residing sibling still insists the other sibling co-owner & executor of estate cannot access home to secure assets. Residing sibling left keys & note with estate attorney saying she can come but then backs out saying no...because i now have a petition w court enforcing sale of home. I am afraid when we appear in court pro se for the oral argument the judge requested..the judge will say I defaulted by not going to get assets. Will a text message saying no one comes here to take anything..cover me?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Dear Bayshore Home Owner:

You have now asked this question three times. The answers will not change. You are experiencing this strange court experience because you have not engaged an attorney to plead your claim for access to the house. The house is in the exclusive possession of your sibling, who resides in the house. Even though you are a co-owner, he has not allowed you to enter the house. You describe his potential for violent behavior in a comment you placed to my answer three days ago.

You cannot substitute Internet answers for having your own attorney. You have lost three possible sales where a broker found a purchaser because your brother backed out of each contract, you may owe these brokers, because each did the job of finding a purchaser. You dropped your selling price each time.

Please. Hire an attorney.

Good luck.

The answer provided to you is in the nature of general information. The general proposition being that you should try to avoid a bad outcome if you can.

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5 comments

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

I agree with Mr. Smollens that if you have asked this question several times, you need not to appear pro se, but to hire an attorney....if you want to end up with more than heartburn.

Asker

Posted

Mr. Smollen..no disrespect to you..I did explain that he took exclusive use ..but he did not earn it..as I pay the taxes as he refuses. Yes, you are right, he has explosvie violent behaviors, but he left the key with my estate attorney then told the attorney I am not to touch anything of his or break anything...he will hold me responsible. He told that attorney he is not denying me access as he brought the keys..but he texts me not to go there..and not to contact him. Correction, he back out of contract to buy me out..but he has refused all offers from potential buyers from broker, that was what i stated previously...sorry if you misunderstood. Thanks again...i am financially strapped, out on disability due to car accident..brother knows this...that is why i did the petition pro se..and will appear pro se for oral argument. If an attorney was willing to take this case on and wait till house is sold for me to pay for his services..i do that in a heartbeart..but no they all want big money retainer fees.

Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Warren Smollens

Posted

OK. The "estate attorney" knows you and knows the issues. Request a referral. He could vouch for funds to pay for professional services if you sell the house. The broker likewise may know an attorney. You may pull this off pro se, but would you know how to enforce an order from the court? You are in real need and if you talk to real attorney, you may find a local lawyer ready and willing to take you as a client and defer compensation. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Thanks so much !!!

Steven Warren Smollens

Steven Warren Smollens

Posted

OK. Best of luck.

Posted

Your question's a bit confusing. In part of the question you imply the home was the only thing left in a parent's estate left to the two children equally, and then you talk about "assets". Are the "assets" personal property left in the home like furniture, jewelry, fixtures, mementos, etc.?

You're on the right track seeking a partition action to sell the home and dispossess the sibling in possession and divide the proceeds. If the "assets" are also at issue, they have to be divided equally (roughly) and or sold and the proceeds divided equally. Your rights won't be waived by not going over and violently demanding your share; the law prefers a peaceful solution.

I'd write a letter to the sibling in possession (or have the lawyer write it) demanding that no personal property be removed or sold and any property that has been needs to be accounted for. There may also be, depending on the size of the estate, whether there was a will, and the manner in which the estate went through probate or administration, some accounting for these "assets" that has to be done in Surrogates Court to do a final accounting and close the estate.

I'd consult an estate lawyer, have him write the demand letter and advise you on how this estate should be administered or probated so you get your rightful share.

This answer is provided under the Avvo.com “Terms and Conditions of Use” (“ToU”), particularly ¶9 which states that any information provided is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship between you and me or any other attorney. Such information is intended for general informational purposes only and should be used only as a starting point for addressing your legal issues. In particular, my answers and those of others are not a substitute for an in-person or telephone consultation with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction about your specific legal issue, and you should not rely solely upon Legal Information you obtain from this website or other resources which may be linked to an answer for informational purposes. You understand that questions and answers or other postings to the Site are not confidential and are not subject to attorney-client privilege. The full Avvo ToU are set forth at http://www.avvo.com/support/terms . In addition, while similar legal principles often apply in many states, I am only licensed to practice in the State of New York and Federal Courts. Any general information I provide about non-New York laws should be checked with an attorney licensed to practice in your State. Lastly, New York State Court rules (22 NYCRR Part 1200, Rule 7.1) also require me to inform you that my answers and attorney profile posted on the Avvo.com site may be considered "attorney advertising" and that "prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome".

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Asker

Posted

that is correct...my parents home have estate assets..which he initially promised to guard..saying he is buying me out for one year..then he backs out. Those assets...furniture jewelry, fixtures, etc...are considered estate assets...why is this confusing you? They belonged to my parents so they are considered estate assets. The purpose of having access is to secure those assets not live there..it's one family home...and i have a home of my own.

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

It's confusing me because your question is confusing...first you're talking about the house, implying it's the only asset, and then you're talking about "assets" without being very specific about what you mean and leaving us to guess and read between the lines. BTW, did your parent have a will? An executor named? Did either you or your brother or an executor get legal authorization from the Surrogates Court to settle the estate, pay of any creditors and distribute the remaining assets? Or is that the proceeding we're discussing where you're representing yourself pro se? I'd imagine that if you asked around, including the local Legal Aid Society, you'd find someone who's willing to assist people of modest means and it wouldn't cost a huge retainer to get someone to assist you settle this estate and deal with your bully brother. Does he have an attorney?

Asker

Posted

Wow..you really missed the boat !!! I stated in my details that i was co owner & executor the estate which tells the average person yes it was probated...I have an estate attorney who gave up on bully brother. Estate Attorney said he is done !!!

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Jack Richard Lebowitz

Posted

Yes, I see that is buried in there, but it's still confusing what you're saying. If you are the executor, you can probably get an order kicking him out of the house, partitioning house and telling him to keep his mitts off the stuff until you get a full accounting and appraisal of what's in there and sell it or divvie it up. I will say your combination of no money plus lots of attitude makes you not an attractive client from my perspective. I like to help people, especially for free or a reduced rate, who are grateful and respectful. Otherwise, I want lots of money to put up with the aggravation. Perhaps you've missed the boat too!

Posted

It's time to give up. All us attorneys here at Avvo have agreed to stop answering this question.

NOTE: (1) I may be guessing and/or not even licensed in your state; (2) We have not established an attorney-client relationship; (3) Sometimes you get what you pay for; and (4) If you want to send me a gift, my favorite color is orange.

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Asker

Posted

Correction!!! I did not ask same question...it was giving background details, which you are aware of ...not all atty's that respond have that info. My question was does a text message saying not to come cover me for not securing the assets even though brother said come and left keys with lawyer...but behind his back sends a text saying don't come.

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