If I’m the personal representative of my late mother’s estate, how do I evict 1 of the beneficiaries from her house?

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If I’m the personal representative of my late mother’s estate, how do I evict 1 of the beneficiaries from her house?

I have 3 other brothers, 1 of whom is deceased. He has 3 adult children who will split their 1/3 of the assets. My other brother who lived in the house with my parents, is a manic depressant and has been threatening to shoot me and my other brother . He is refusing to leave our parent’s home which we want to remodel. My probate attorney has told me to Baker Act him since he is a danger to himself and others but is unsure about the procedure on eviction since that brother is entitled to 1/4 of the assets. How do I go about evicting him and does he have any right whatsoever to stay in the house? Do I have complete power on deciding what to do since I am the personal representative?

Asked on February 7, 2016 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the estate has not been probated, then the brother is not yet an owner of the home--he has an expectation of receiving 1/4 of the home (or its proceeds, if it is sold) but that hasn't happened yet. That means he has no right to remain there (once he is an owner, though, he cannot be evicted); as the personal representative, you, however, have the right to control and make decisions about the home, on behalf of the estate. You should therefore have the right to remove him, but must do so through an "ejectment" action, not eviction--eviction is for rent-paying tenants, ejectment for non-tenants. Ejectment is more complicated (and somewhat slower) than eviction; you are advised to have the estate retain a landlord-tenant attorney (they handle ejectments as well as evictions) to help you.


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