Can my step-father force the sale of house without preparing the property?

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Can my step-father force the sale of house without preparing the property?

My mother died and left behind 2 properties, one of which I live in with my daughter and my brother. Her husband is the executor of the estate, and was left $20,000 in her Will. He has notified me that I must move out by 06/31, when he will sell the house in an “As Is” condition. The house is in need of a roof, and a major clean up/ painting/ carpeting if it is to sell for top dollar. It is in a highly regarded neighborhood. He doesn’t care what it sells for, but we do, as the remainder is my brothers and mine only inheritance. What can I do, should I put the money into the rehab?

Asked on February 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  I think what you may need to put the money in to at this point in time is an attorney to support your position.  Take your Mother's Will to someone to review and to let you know what your rights are under your state law.  The Executor - or fiduciary of the Will - has an obligation to maintain the property of an estate and to follow out the wishes of the decedent, your Mother.  If you feel that he is shirking his duties to the estate then you need to speak with the attorney about the possibility of removing him.  But this is not as easy as it sounds.  I am fearful that if you put money in to the repairs - which is the responsibility of the estate - it will be considered gratuitous and you will not get it back.  Seek help.  Good luck.


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