I'm one of 6 beneficiaries of a small estate. The estate includes a multi-family house worth $415,000 and a small bank account ($20,000). One of six beneficiaries (with deep pockets) is suing the estate, claiming the executrix stole money from decedent.
The other four of us are firmly on the side of the executrix. The house makes a profit of approximately $1500 per month (mostly used to pay lawyer). Our lawyer keeps insisting that the surrogate court is going to force us to sell the house. If none of the beneficiaries (including the one with deep pockets) request partition action, is there any reason why the surrogate court would force it, especially if the property is producing income for the estate? (The will does not say that the property has to be sold.)
I believe your question is really an estates/probate question, so I changed the practice area in order for a probate attorney to see it.
Best of luck.
The foregoing discussion does not establish an attorney-client relationship, is qualified by the limited facts presented above, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. To obtain definitive legal advice upon which one can rely necessitates retaining an attorney who is qualified in this particular area of the law. Any comments are merely suggestions for you to think about in discussing your situation with your local attorney.
If the estate has bills and no means to pay them it may be necessary to sell the house, The court would not require a sale unless it was necessary. Ask the lawyer to explain why they believe the court will require you to sell.
You wrote that you are the beneficiary of a “small estate.” It is unclear to me whether you filed a small estate proceeding or a probate proceeding. I suspect it is the former. The executor cannot sell real estate in a small estate proceeding.
In your comment, you wrote that there is a Medicaid lien. It is going to have to be satisfied, and you should handle it as soon as possible. Your attorney may be able to negotiate the amount necessary to satisfy the lien.
Courts don’t usually force sales where parties do not request them. In your situation though, Medicaid is a creditor, and your attorney seems to have a reason for his conclusion. He has familiarity with the facts and law of the case and is in the best position to answer your questions and advise you. I suggest consulting with him.
Estate administration and probate: https://bersonfirm.wordpress.com/2012/10/26/estateadministration/
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