Do I have to forfeit my inheritance in order for my brother to sell my late sister’s house?

My sister passed away and left a house along with other possessions in another country. My brother lives in that country and has sent me a legal statement that I need to sign in order to renounce any inheritance in favor of him. He said in a different message that this must be done so he can sell the house and he will give me half of what I should get. Is it necessary to renounce my inheritance (the house and possessions) in order for someone to sell it on my behalf?

Asked on July 15, 2012 under Estate Planning, California


Cameron Norris, Esq. / Law Office of Gary W. Norris

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I would never sign that agreement.  It may be that he needs to have title cleared up in order to ultimately sell the home, but then you could just sign the title at that time when it was in escrow. 

I would consult a local probate attorney for guidance--having them review any legal documents that apply such as his will or trust.  However in the meantime, don't sign anything renouncing your share of your inheritance to the estate.

Best of luck.

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