How do I fight for a property that was inheritedby someone else but they are incapable of taking care of/keeping it?

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How do I fight for a property that was inheritedby someone else but they are incapable of taking care of/keeping it?

My mother passed away 3 months ago and in her will it states that her house would be left to her son but if something should happened to him, I would be next in line. My brother (her son) is living there now but is unable to maintain the house and has mentally lost his mind (due with our mom’s death and his bi-polor disorder). How do I go about taking over the house before he looses it or trashes it? And do I have a right to fight for it?

Asked on July 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, you don't have a right to fight for it unles you were actually NOW given some property image in it--e.g. you have a remainder interest, so that it is already determined that your brother gets to live there for his life, then it passes to you; or you have some partial ownership interest (e.g. are a coowner). If you have one of these interests, you *may* have the right to take legal action to preserve the home. On the other hand, if it was merely that your mother's will said that if your brother would die before she died, then you would be the one to get the house, then you have no right to take action--it's his home. So the question is whether you at present have some enforceable interest, and if in doubt, you should consult with an attorney. Good luck.


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