probate

My father died 4 years ago. He left his house to 4 children.One of my brother was doing executor duty but he didn’t know that he had to take care of the estate first. I told them from the beginning on that I want to keep the house. Now everybody wants to sell it except me. We have appraisal of the house at the death time of my father. I am disabled and want to move into my father’s house. Do I have any beneficiary’s right to live in my father’s house? I am not able to pay out rest of my family the market price of the house now.If it had happen right after my father’s death, I could have paid out rest of the family based on the appraisal price of the house. Can I still insist that appraisal price to pay out?

Asked on September 29, 2017 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If most of the beneficiaries want to sell, they can force the sale: 1 of 4 beneficiaries cannot block the sale. You can be removed from living in the house--not only when the sale occurs, but in advance if the others desire or any buyers insist, to facilitate the sale. You will receive you share of what the house actually sells for after paying any mortgage, taxes, and costs of sale (i.e. 1/4 of the proceeds after paying those things)--the appraisal price is irrelevant; only what it actually sells for matters. 
It comes down to the fact unless you had been the sole person to inherit the home, you cannot stop the other beneficiaries from insisting on a sale. By not cooperating and possibly bringing legal challenges, you could delay matters somewhat, but any money spent on litigation is money that will be taken from the estate and/or which will reduce what you'll ultimately get from the home. It is better to cooperate and try to work things out for mutual benefit.


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