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How Can I Force My Brother to Follow Our Dad's Wishes Regarding Our Inheritance?

  • August 6th, 2014
My dad passed away about a month ago. My brother and I are listed on his will as executors. We were both listed as power of attorneys (which I understand is void since he is deceased). My brother has no interest in following the will, which says to split everything between us. My brother has admitted taking all of the valuables out of the house, but I have no way to prove anything. The house/property was put in our names in 2002 and our parents retained a "life estate." Now my brother wants to let his son live on the property. I want to sell it and split that amount fairly. How should I handle this?

I am sorry to hear about your father’s passing and the difficulties you’re having with your brother. Obviously, your brother had no right to take all of the property in the house. Based on his actions and the break down in communications you can go to court and ask that you be appointed as the sole executor of your father’s estate. I’m not sure what other assets are in your father’s estate and whether such an effort is worth the cost and stress of litigation.

In terms of the house, it now belongs to you and your brother equally. You can force the sale through a partition action. Again, this can be divisive and expensive, but probably less expensive and more straightforward than a fight over your father’s estate. I recommend that you consult with a local probate attorney. However, before bringing an action in court it’s at least worth seeing if your brother would agree to meet with a mediator.

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Last Modified: 08/06/2014

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