Q: My dad passed away and without my knowledge my sister sold his home and kept the money.What can I do to receive my part?
A: Without knowing the specific facts it is hard to tell what is going on here. For example, if your dad had transferred the real estate to her during his lifetime, then she is within her rights to sell the property as she is the rightful owner. You could check with the Recorder of Deeds in the county where the real estate was located.
However, if he exercised undue influence, duress or forgery to get him to transfer the property during his lifetime than you need to see an estate litigation attorney.
If she was named executrix of his will then she would also have the right to sell the property. If the will provided that she was the sole heir under the will than she again has the right to keep the money. You would be well served to call the Register of Wills in the county where he died to get the facts as to whether there is a will, who is the executor and to request a copy of a will. Then retain an estates attorney to review all of this.
A: A lot depends on state law, your father's situation when he passed (did he die intestate?), and the ownership of the real estate when he passed.
Option #1 - ask your sister for your share or an explanation as to why she did what she did.
Option #2 - open probate on your father's estate and ask to be named the executor of the estate.
Option #3 - if probate has already been opened, file a motion as a beneficiary asking for an accounting of the estate assets at the time of your father's death to now.
Option #4 - file suit against your sister.
A: Assuming that your sister did not have proper authority to sell the property or act on behalf of your father's estate, then you need to open an estate (assuming one is not open) or intervene in any pending estate and have the authorized representative file a petition to recover assets. There are candidly too many variables here that are not set forth in your question, but if your sister acted without court authority, the court will afford a remedy. It is incumbent upon you to act.
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