What can I do to prevent my sister from stealing my inheritance?

UPDATED: Apr 18, 2015

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What can I do to prevent my sister from stealing my inheritance?

When my mother passed away 4 years ago, she left a Will that named both my sister and I as co-executors. Due to the soft real estate market at that time, she and I agreed to let her live in the house with all the furnishings and other personal property rent-free, In exchange, she would pay the taxes, insurance and whatever maintenance the house needed. There is no mortgage. Now that the house is needing repair, she is complaining that I am not paying half the cost of what’s needed to be done. She won’t agree to sell the house and she doesn’t want me or my husband to visit the house. She told me to get a lawyer. What do I do?

Asked on April 18, 2015 under Estate Planning, Illinois


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Was the agreement in writing?  hen her advice to you now - get a lawyer - is sound.  You need to probate the Will even at this late date and have the property transferred in to your names and then file an action for Partition to ask the court to sell it and split the proceeds.  You wil have to see if the law will aloow this oral contract between you to stand up in court.  It may but if it does not then be prepared about paying for half the repairs or seliing it subject to them.  Good luck.

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