What are my options with regards to how my grandfathers will has been carried out?

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What are my options with regards to how my grandfathers will has been carried out?

My grandfather passed away in 2011. In his will he left 1/3 of his house to be split
between my 2 brothers and myself. My aunt who received 1/3 of the house as
well right away moved her daughter into the house. We have not been paid
anything and to my knowledge no rent is being paid. My aunt intends to buy the
house, in 2013 they sent me legal papers with a purchase price of 225,000
which is below the market value. At the time I signed the papers agreeing to that
sale price and assumed I would receive my cut. One of my brothers also signed
agreeing, and my 3rd brother did not sign it. To this date I have not been paid,
the sale hasn’t been completed, and my cousin is living rent free in this house.
What are my options to either get my cut, or can I force that rent be paid until
things are settled? Is there a statute of limitations when it comes to these
matters? I’m getting frustrated with the situation.

Asked on October 17, 2018 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

1) Whether you can force the sale you signed up to go through so you can be paid depends on what the papers said: did they require all three of your to agree to the sale before it would happen? Or did it guaranty you payment for your interest even if one or both of your siblings did not go along? We can't answer this question for you definitely, because it depends 100% on what the papers said.
2) You can't force your cousin to pay rent: any owner of the home--and you write that your aunt is a 1/3 owner--has the right to let any person(s) she wants occupy the house rent free. You, as part owner, could therefore move in, or move friends in, and your aunt and her daughter could not keep you out.
3) If the papers don't give you an enforceable right to a sale now and you are tired of the situation, you could bring a type of legal action (lawsuit) traditionally called an action "for ejectment" (though your state may have a different name for it). In this action, when the owners of real estate cannot agree as to what to do with it, one of them can ask the court for an order requiring that property be sold and the proceeds, after paying costs of sale and paying off any mortgages, liens, HELOCs, etc., be divided among the owners. If you want to explore this kind of legal action, consult with a real estate attorney.


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