If my brother is executor of my mom's will but I'm also on the deed, can I force him to sell her home? 26 Answers as of July 08, 2013

My mother died in 2009 she left all her property to 6 grown children to be shared and shared alike. My brother is the executor of her will. He placed the property in all 6 children's names, on a deed, but is yet to sell the property and disburse the cash. He is holding on to her residential property plus a rental property. He is receiving the rent money from the rental. What are options? I am the second executor on the will, only if my brother is unable, or unwilling to fulfill the requests of the will.

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Halloran & Sage | Vincent A. Liberti
This issue warrants investigating more facts. If he conveyed the title to all of you, then all of you are now owners, not the estate. In such case the estate should not receive the income of the property. Instead all 6 of you must share it, and declare your respective share of the net income on your income tax returns. If the property is still in probate, then the rental income is income of the estate and must be duly reported on the accounting as presented to the court. So, if the property is owned by all 6 of you, then you all should agree to get a realtor, list the property and sell it.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 9/18/2012
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Unless the will specifically states that the property should be sold and the income divided among the siblings, it sounds like your brother met the terms your mother specified.

By now the estate should have been closed so your opportunity to challenge his actions as executor has probably ended.

However, if you can get a majority of your siblings to agree to sell the properties, you can force the sale.

Or perhaps you can convince one or more of your siblings to buy out your share of the property.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/27/2012
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
I am not sure how your brother put all of you on the deed.

That normally has to be done with a court order.

If there is a probate then all concerns should be raised in the probate. If there is not, he should start one. If he does not, you should.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/27/2012
Law Office Of Victor Waid
Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
Your position is to file a petition to partition the property for a sale of the property in order to receive your share of the proceeds; my suspicion is once you have initiated this proposed action, one of the other siblings will want to buy your share out. So be ready to mediate; suggest you get good legal representation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/27/2012
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
If your brother transferred the property to six grown children, he has distributed the property.

It no longer belongs to the estate. He would not now be able to sell the property.

The six current owners would need to sell the property together.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/27/2012
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    If an executor is in violation of the terms of his appointment then he is breaking the law.

    If you can prove that he is NOT following the law then petition the Probate Court to review the appointment and have you appointed.

    The real estate is now in your name and your brothers and sisters names. If income is being generated in your name it must be divided between the owners of the property.

    This is not something that you should try to do alone. I would seek help from an estate attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
    Law Offices of Charles R. Perry | Charles R. Perry
    If the house has already been distributed to the six children, and the deed listing all six children has been recorded, then your brother has no authority to sell that property.

    The six children will all have to work together on the sale.

    I strongly suggest you speak to a probate lawyer in your area to discuss your concerns about the estate, why your brother is still holding onto the property, and what remedies you may have.

    You can either speak to a lawyer that you find here on LawQA or someone in your area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/27/2012
    You raise several issues. Its been several years and the administration is ongoing. Placing all the names on the deed didnt help and only raises other issues especially if one of the children now dies and depends how the deed was done. And nothing has been done with the other properties. The easiest thing would have been to sell all of the properties and split the proceeds. I think you need representation to review how things now stand and to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston | Edwin Fee
    If the executor has distributed the property to the six beneficiaries via deed, then the executor would not sell the property and should not collect the rent. The six owners would have the authority to sell the property and to collect the rent. If you cannot get the other owners to agree to sell the property, then you might consider filing for a sale in lieu of partition.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It sounds like he is renting the homes for the benefit of the owners. He has to account. You need an attorney to help you understand your rights.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    MckennaLaw | Keven A. McKenna
    File a motion to partition and sell in Superior Court. By law you were owned by inheritance at the moment of your parent's death.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    This is not very clear you seem to indicate that your mother's will was probated and you consented to a distribution to the six of you "in kind," rather than a sale of the property in the probate estate as we would expect. If that's what happened, your option now is to sue your brother for "partition" of the property.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Zahaby Law Offices
    Zahaby Law Offices | Jon A. Zahaby, Esq.
    Yes you can force your brother to sell. However, with a 1/6 interest it may not be worth the legal costs to do so. Your question is a matter of Real Property Law rather than Wills & Trusts. So long as you have been conveyed interest to the Property by Deed you have the right to file a Partition Action in order to force the property to be sold and the proceeds distributed. The average Partition Action costs $20,000.00 or more and the attorney's fees are rarely awarded to the Plaintiff.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    The Mead Law Firm, P.C | George W. Mead
    Your brother, as PR has the authority to dispose of assets for the estate. If he is not doing so in compliance with the terms of the will or in the beneficiaries best interests you can have him removed and sell the property. You should consult a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    You should work through the Probate Ct to compel your brother to account for the rent and to sell/distribute the estate assets.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    The Law Offices of Tres A. Porter | Tres A. Porter
    As you are all equal owners, you are entitled to share in rental income equally, along with being responsible for expenses and upkeep equally. If you wish to sell your portion you could potentially sue for partition asking the Court to order a sale because there is no equitable way to physically divide the property. An easier and likely more cost effective method would be to approach all of your siblings and discuss having the siblings who wish to keep owning the property buy out the interests of the siblings who wish to sell.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    I think you mean that the Deed was recorded and that you and your siblings are of record title as tenants in common. As tenants in common you can go to court and force a sale of the property by a partition suit.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Meissner, Joseph & Palley, Inc.
    Meissner, Joseph & Palley, Inc. | John Palley
    If the property has been distributed then the rents also should be split up.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    This is a very complicated situation. I cannot provide a quick and easy answer here.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 7/8/2013
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
    If all the children's names are on the property, and your brother is refusing to sell/share the rent proceeds, etc., you could talk to an attorney about doing a "partition" action where he would be forced to sell the property.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith | Eric Smith
    The job of an executor is supposed to be a short term on, simply to move assets from the decedent to the heirs or beneficiaries. If the property is now titled in the name of the six children as your mother's estate intended, the estate and your brother's role as executor is done, at least with regard to that property. He cannot sell a property that he only has a 1/6 interest in. All 6 co-owners of the property must coordinate together to sell the property. You may ask a court to partition the property or if that is impractical the court may be able to force a sale. If one joint owner is receiving rent from a property disproportionate to the other owners, you can sue for your share.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Martinson & Beason, PC
    Martinson & Beason, PC | Douglas C Martinson II
    You can force a sale of the property. It is called a Sale for Division. You would need to seek legal advice on this as it is a judicial proceeding.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/21/2012
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Is there actually an estate open on this? If the property was deeded out to the beneficiaries, there is nothing left for the estate or the executor to do. It is up to the parties, at that point, who are now the owners. As far as the rental, if your brother is pocketing the rent, that would be inappropriate, if the rental is estate property. The rent should go into the estate account. As far as the residence, you do not say what is supposed to happen with that. You appear to have a fair amount of real estate in the estate. It is a terrible time to be selling real estate, and I could understand this difficulty, and reluctance to try. If you feel your brother is not acting in your best interest, you can always complain to the court. I am not sure what else a judge could do, however, other than perhaps remove your brother and name an independent PR. This might get the property sold more quickly, but it will likely have an impact on your relationship with your brother.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/21/2012
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