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What are the consequences for withholding a will to deny beneficiaries benefits?

York Haven, PA |

sister knew there was a will splitting residence 50/50. sister withheld will and lived in house with adult children for several years after father's death. when brother went to become administrator and settle estate, she produced the will. sister has made changes to house inside and out. property value significantly lower now.

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

The Will should be probated. The executor can make a claim against the sister for rental value of the house and damage to it.

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Posted

In PA there are procedures through the Register or Court to compel production of the Will. But if she is executor/executrix named in the will based on what you said she may not do anything. If you think the Will is void for some reason, you need to file a caveat to block the Will. I note that if the Will specifically divides the house 50/50, she may not be obligated to sell it or buy you out; rather, just retitle the Deed 50/50 and then you will have to proceed in court to force the partition and sale of the house. You need to bring a copy of the will and check the recorder's office and obtain a copy of the deed (if you have one from before the owner of the house died do not presume it is current as a new one could be on file) and then take a copy of the Deed and Will to an attorney to review and discuss procedural options and costs.

Posted

You can bring a civil action against your sister for withholding the will and seek money damages for the diminished value of the property.

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