Q: I'm the administrator & a sibling is the coadministrator, I have a friend that's a realtor to sell my parents home.
Unfortunately the coadministrator doesn't want her to sell the house even though she knows her very well. She's just doing this to stall & not comply. Does the judge appoint a realtor? She is just doing whatever it takes to stall the house from getting listed. Can I have her removed from coadministrator!!
A: Any relationship that you have with a realtor or anyone else that you hire must be disclosed to the court and the heirs of the estate. My suggestion is to hire a neutral third party that you do not know as the realtor to sell the house. That way, there is no question about whether you have a backside deal or an improper relationship with the realtor. The judge does not appoint a realtor. This is something to work out with a coadministrator and probably not the substance behind a petition for removal.
A: I agree that you should try to work this out with your co-administrator, and that the relationship should be disclosed using a Notice of Proposed Action (unless you and your sibling are the only heirs.)
I do not necessarily agree that a third party is required, particularly if there is a benefit to using your friend such as a lower commission percentage. (Assuming, of course, the friend is competent and appropriately licensed.)
Short of working it out, you can petition the court to instruct your sister to act. But, you would need to show some benefit to using an "insider." Removal itself is unlikely unless the obstruction continues.
This is one I'd go over with a probate attorney before pulling the trigger on any petition. You can, as co-administrators, have separate council who would share the statutory fee, or perhaps have limited scope just to resolve this difficulty. I'm assuming that you are currently working with an attorney, but if not and you need to find one, you can try your local county bar association's attorney referral program. These programs provide you with a consultation for a small or no fee.
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