What are my rights in my grandfather's will if my uncle decides to sell the house? 9 Answers as of February 17, 2012

My grandfather died and left his house to me and my uncle in his will. My uncle is executor of will. Can my uncle sell the house, which I live in, without my agreeing to the sale price or the sale period? I was not even told when the will was probated.

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Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law
Martin Barnes - Attorney at Law | Martin Barnes
The law grants an executor considerable authority to deal with estate assets. With this authority comes responsibility and duties. If you feel your beneficial interest in the house is not being properly represented you should consult with an attorney who can review the will and other important documents and who can then advise you of your rights.
Answer Applies to: Indiana
Replied: 11/11/2011
Goldsmith & Guymon
Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
First it is important to determine how the property was titled at the time of your grandfather's death. If it was in joint tenancy with your uncle, or your uncle was a Pay on Death beneficiary it would pass to him by operation of law regardless of what the Will says. If the asset was only in your grandfather's name then it would be necessary to go through probate. If it is/went through probate you should receive notice of the petitions, etc. You should probably review the title information available on line for the county where the property is located and determine the ownership status and history. You may want to seek legal counsel to address the specifics of your situation.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/9/2011
THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C.
THE HUBBARD LAW FIRM, P.C. | Donald B. Lawrence, Jr.
You have not stated when your grandfather died. You indicated you did not get notice when the will was probated. If you are a named beneficiary and/or a next of kin, you should have been notified when the will was offered for probate and your uncle was appointed. It is not clear from your question whether your uncle and you share current ownership of the home or if he has a life estate with you having the remainder interest. If his will has been offered for probate, check with the probate court in the county of his residence at the time of his death to see if the will has been filed and if you can get a copy. Once you have more information, your rights can be clarified.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/8/2011
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
If you're named in the will, the will cannot be probated without notice to you. Get a lawyer to review the probate file and draft an appropriate response to the PR.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/8/2011
Ashman Law Office
Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
That depends on the wording of the will. You need to see a lawyer ASAP.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 11/8/2011
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    I would question whether the Will was in fact probated. You would have received notice of the probate proceeding. The mere fact that your uncle is nominated as "Executor" in the Will does not give him authority to act on behalf of the estate. A court needs to probate the Will and appoint him as Executor. If your uncle is formally appointed as Executor by the court, it is possible that he could sell the house if doing so is necessary to raise money to pay creditors, taxes and costs of administration. He could not sell a house that was left to specific beneficiaries unless the remaining assets of the estate were insufficient to pay the items mentioned above.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC
    Harville-Stein Law Offices, LLC | Dean D. Stein
    You should have either signed a waiver for the probate of will hearing, or you would have been served notice by sheriff or special process server. As for selling the house left to you and him in the will, he can file a petition for sale and division of the property within the probate proceeding. You could contest that proceeding if you see fit. Of course, you may instead seek to buy him out of his share. Offer to have the house appraised by a licensed, mutually agreed upon appraiser, and borrow themoney against the house in a mortgage, to pay him for his share.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    The Schreiber Law Firm
    The Schreiber Law Firm | Jeffrey D. Schreiber
    In order to sell the house, without consideration of what, if anything, the will provides is to be done with the house, if a probate has been opened, normally a sale of estate property requires a noticed hearing for the court too approve the sale. As one of the heirs, you would be entitled to notice and the right to contest it. You need to see if a probate case has been opened in the county where your grandfather lived.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/8/2011
    Broad Law Firm, LLC
    Broad Law Firm, LLC | Donald K. Broad
    I am not certain what the rules are in your state, but in Indiana, all beneficiaries under a will have to be given notice of the probate process. However, if your uncle is the executor, and the will allows for him to sell assets, then he can do so. However, you would be entitled to half the net proceeds of the sale. You can also choose to purchase the home from the estate, if you wish to stay in it. You should consult with a probate attorney in your area to be certain all rules and procedures are being followed.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 2/17/2012
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