Marshfield, MO asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Missouri

Q: When my mother passes, she is leaving her home to my brother and I. He will likely move in. How is this preventable?

My brother and family have my mom feed them all. They moved into a trailer with gutted kitchen, so instead of fixing it, they have partially moved in with our mom and have her provide and cook all their meals. Their home is also uninhabitable. My mom only provides for the family because they do not properly care for/feed their kids. I fear they will immediately move into her home when she passes. Her house is our inheritance, which is to be sold and profits shared between my brother and me. What can I do if and when they move in? I worry that the house will be destroyed and very dirty if they take it over, which would make it hard to sell.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN

A: There are a few things you can try. First, immediately petition the court to be appointed as executor or administrator of your mother's estate after she passes. Upon appointment you will have authority to change the locks. If he has already moved in you will have the authority to hire an eviction attorney. Also quickly thereafter petition the court for an order to sell the house and divide the proceeds. The order should also order your brother to vacate the premises to prepare it for sale.

If that doesn't work, then after you both inherit the house, hire an attorney to file a partition action for you to force the sale of the house and division of proceeds. You would want the same thing in that order, i.e. order that your brother vacate the house to prepare it for sale. Your brother will need to understand that if he doesn't vacate the house, that will lower the price that the house will sell for because nobody wants to buy a house with someone living in it that they would have to evict. That means less money in his pocket. He needs to understand that sale is inevitable so he might as well cooperate in trying to obtain the highest possible price for it.

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