Who has rights to occupy an inherited home?

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Who has rights to occupy an inherited home?

I have a friend and I am trying to help her out. She and her husband live with her mother. The mother just passed away. The mother had 2 children. The brother wants the sister to move out so that he can sell the property. There was a Will;it has never been filed, only signed and notarized. The brother wants to get around filing the Will. She would rather the Will be filed and has hopes to purchase the property herself. They had arrangements for her to do so until the appraisal came back almost half of what the brother wanted for the property, so she hopes to get it for fair market value if it is going through the courts. Should she stay in the property and make him have to file the Will and then try to buy it?

Asked on January 10, 2011 under Estate Planning, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for her loss and for her situation.  When you say "filed" I am assuming that you mean probated (submitted to the court for probate). Who has the Will physically?  She has every right to submit the Will for probate and given the situation she should do so quickly.  Who is the executor of the Will?  If it is her brother then she should petition to be co-executor if possible. As for living in the house, it is much better to have a house occupied for safety  and vandalism reasons but they have equal rights now in the house since her Mother has passed away.  So she should offer the estate rent while there.  The estate needs an attorney and she may need one herself here.  The attorney for the estate only represents the interest of the estate and the executor in their position as fiduciary.  Good luck.


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