My cousin the executor of my grams estate and will keeps saying she and her husband are going to make very expensive repairs to the house which they want to keep , me and my brother agreed to let them keep but they need to buy us out of our 1/3 each by getting a loan. But they plan on using the money that my gram has left in accounts etc, to fix leech field 30,000$ ect ..how is that fair to me and my brother when we are not keeping the home.isnt that supposed to be done after the house is appraised and they buy us out of our 1/3 then they can do what they want to home because now they own it. How would that benefit us at all. We aren’t going to be living there. I’m so confused and hurt because things have now gotten bad and we feel we cannot trust her at all. Please help with some good advice. She keeps saying also she can’t find paperwork I know lawyer has all papers will ect. And also says it’s a courtesy to me and my brother that we even be allowed to meet with lawyer with her for getting info in the will.? We are the 3 beneficiaries only. Please help family being torn apart by this..
When property is inherited, it is actually inherited upon death of a decedent, meaning that the house is already owned by you, your cousin, and your brother, the rest is paperwork to formalize the transfer. Once a house is owned, each owner is equally responsible for upkeep and other costs of the house, such as taxes. Depending on what the repairs are, and whether they are urgent to preserve the value of the house, she may be required to make them, and as a co-owner you would be responsible for sharing those costs. The flip side of this is that if it increases the value of the home, the buyout price should actually increase as a result, and you need to make sure that any appraisal done of the property is performed AFTER the repairs are made. The increased value of the house may cover the costs. However, if these are IMPROVEMENTS to the house, made by one owner, then she should be solely responsible for the costs. Fixing a leech field is probably needed right away, but the other repairs may not be.
Your cousin is required to share certain things with you, such as the will, but she is correct that you aren't necessarily entitled to meet with the attorney if the attorney represents the estate. However, she is requried to disclose how she uses your grandmother's funds, and on what. If she is not performing her duties as PR correctly, by using money that was to be inherited by others on herself, for instance, there are steps to remove her as PR and ask that someone else be appointed. You should consult with a lawyer to help you preserve your rights here and represent you, because the attorney on the case represents either the estate or your cousin, but does not represent you personally.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.
I agree with everything Attorney Owens said. I want to emphasize that as a beneficiary, you should be getting an inventory listing all property of the estate and it's value. In addition, you should receive an accounting, explaining all the income and expenses of the estate. Sometimes the account is not given until the end of the probate, which limits your ability to affect the administration.
As attorney Owens said, if estate money is used to improve the property, you should receive your share of the full value, not just the date of death value.
Your cousin has to be concerned about self dealing, which is a beach of fiduciary duty. It would be wise for your cousin to keep everyone on board as the property is improved and sold. If direct communications fo not work, I would get a lawyer involved. You might be surprised at how much a simple letter from a lawyer can get PRs to do to the right thing.
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