Can my brother who is the executor of our father's estate, throw me out of the house? 3 Answers as of September 25, 2014

My brother, who was just confirmed as Executor of our father's will last week (as stated in his will), invited me to stay 6-12 months in our father's house until the house is sold and the probate closed. I've been in the house a little over 2 months. I am disabled, ill, and lost my housing 2 years ago due to disabilities. After my 1st month at my father's house, a realtor told my brother he could sell the house before the end of probate. My brother signed with a realtor, 2 weeks before the court confirmed him as Executor. My brother wanted me out immediately, after signing with the realtor, to remodel and sell the house easily, and at the best price. This realtor especially dislikes having anyone living in a house he's remodeling or selling. My brother has not given me a 30-day notice, but has written to the probate judge he wants me out immediately. My father's will has a No Contest clause. My brother and his wife, who are very conservative and refused to loan me even a dime repayable upon distribution of the will, finally agreed, after signing with the realtor, to loan me money to move out safely and prevent homelessness until probate closes and asked me for an itemized list and total, including for- a month at a motel while looking for a furnished room to rent ($2500); rent of $700/mo plus 2 times the rent in deposit for a furnished room ($2100); $800 for a deposit to keep in savings in case I am offered and need to jump at a Sec. 8 unit while I have my voucher; and rent and living expenses until probate closes ($1000/month: $700 rent/month + $300 expenses/month.) Then, a week before the date I was to move out, per agreement with the realtor (in time to remodel, sell, and repay the reverse mortgage by 6-month deadline), my brother reneged. I had not given him the itemized list yet when he then reneged.

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Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
You have many issues, but clearly can not afford to hire an attorney. Most attorneys, however, will give a free 15-20 meeting to discuss your case to see if they would want to take it. I doubt they would but they may give you some advice. As named executor in the Will, your brother did not have the power to sign a contract with the realtor; only once he is appointed administrator or legal representative of the estate would he have the power to enter into such a contract. But he could easily remedy that by signing a new contract. The realtor is correct that it is much easier to fix up and sell the house with no one living there. If your brother offered and you fully accepted that you could live there for 6-12 months, you may have a binding oral contract so that he has to abide my those terms. Did he do so before or after he was appointed administrator, as that determines if he could enter a contract on behalf of the estate. Judges do not act on mere letters. Papers must be filed, filing fees paid, and a court hearing occur. But your brother does have the power to give you a 30 day notice. Whether you have a binding contract with him to provide alternative shelter depends upon several factors, including what the exact terms of the agreement were, whether giving him the list had to be done before you left, etc. How could you give him a complete list before you found the places to live? In California if you have lived there less than one full year, he would have to give you a thirty days notice, then serve you with an unlawful detainer suit, get a court date about one month away, and convince a judge not to let you stay for a month or so to arrange for other housing. See if a legal aid attorney can help you. Check with the local bar association to see if there are any attorneys who do pro bono [free] work or if there is some tenants organization that could help. As soon as you tell your brother you have an attorney, his position will probably harden.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/25/2014
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
First, you should determine if bro has full or limited authority under the Independent Administration of Estates Act. You can go on the court?s web-site to do that. If full authority, he can proceed without further court approval. If limited, he has to file a petition for authority to sell, which the court will set for hearing about a month or two away. In any event, his duty is to ALL beneficiaries. You can always file your own petition to stop him, but I suspect that sooner or later he will sell. He has no duty to support you that I know of. If the estate has cash in banks, you could file a petition for an advance. There are legal offices who help indigent people; ask the court clerk in your County.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/25/2014
James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
Unfortunately you have no legal right to stay. You could make him evict you however which will buy you more time. It would be a shame if it came to that and would be ideal if he would advance you money from the probate. My recommendation would be you find a permanent place to live - a motel is expensive and only temporary which is usually not the best choice.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/25/2014
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