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  1. #1
    YankeeFan is offline Junior Member
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    signing over a home to sibling

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New York

    My sister transferred her half of the family home to me shortly before her death. Does this eliminate any chance of my brother in law getting a portion of the house? He served me with a petition filed in the estate of our late mother. Her will may have left me and my brother in law as co-executors, but since the house is no longer in her name, does this leave the house safe from him?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
  2. #2
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by YankeeFan View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New York

    My sister transferred her half of the family home to me shortly before her death. Does this eliminate any chance of my brother in law getting a portion of the house? He served me with a petition filed in the estate of our late mother. Her will may have left me and my brother in law as co-executors, but since the house is no longer in her name, does this leave the house safe from him?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    How did we get from sis to mom?
  3. #3
    YankeeFan is offline Junior Member
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    I'm sorry. It's such a complicated scenario...

    Both of my parents passed away. My mothers will left her estate equally to my sister and I, naturally. My sister is my only sibling. She has 2 children. My sister passed away recently after a long illness, but before her death, she signed over her half of the house to me. I live in the house, my sister did not. I wanted to know if that signing over of the house keeps it safe from my brother in law. The house falling into his hands was always a big concern for all of us. This is a man who helped put both my mom and sister in the ground and it just wouldn't be right for him to profit from a family that he helped destroy.

    I was served a citation saying that a petition has been duly filed in my mothers estate, and that i am hereby cited to show cause before the Surrogate's Court of the State of NY why a decree should not be made in the Decedent's Estate : a) that the original Letters Testamentary issued to my sister be revoked; b) that Successor Letters Testamentary be issued solely to the petitioner (my brother in law); c) that such letters be limited to the prosecution of a cause of action and restraining the successor executor from compromising such action pending further order of the court; d) that such letters be extended to the collection of all assets of the estate; e) that the petitioner be authorized to serve without bond or other security; and f) for such other and further relief as this court deems just and proper.

    I would really appreciate any info, points, tips, on what I can expect. The court date is coming up, and as much as i like my lawyer as a person, he hasn't prepared me for what is really happening, and what is going to happen. I'm trying to defend and honor my family, but I'm really scared.
  4. #4
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    How long ago did your sister pass away? I assume that you are opposing her husband's petition to become the successor executor of your mother's estate. (???)

    I would really appreciate any info, points, tips, on what I can expect. The court date is coming up, and as much as i like my lawyer as a person, he hasn't prepared me for what is really happening, and what is going to happen.
    We can't really know what is going to happen. I would hope that your attorney is preparing to oppose the petition and request that the court appoint you as the successor executor. All else being equal, I would expect that the court would look more favorably upon a child than an ex-son-in-law. If your questions are not being answered by your attorney, then you have push harder.

    I wanted to know if that signing over of the house keeps it safe from my brother in law.
    It really is not possible to say without knowing all the details about your sister's assets, her will, and the circumstances of the transfer.



    EDITED TO ADD:

    Re-reading OP's posts, I am left scratching my head. With the statements about sister transferring her interest to OP and OP talking about living in the house, I jumped to the conclusion that the house already was owned by OP and sister before mother passed away.
    Last edited by anteater; 07-02-2011 at 02:57 PM.
  5. #5
    curb1 is offline Senior Member
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    1) When did mother pass?

    2) Was mother's estate probated?

    3) Has the probate process been completed?

    4) Was title of the house changed to you and your sister during/after probate?

    5) How does the title of the house read at this time? Is it entirely in your name?
  6. #6
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    I suspect that the mother's will was either never probated, or that the house was never re-deeded to the two sisters. Therefore her husband is assuming that he is going to inherit his wife's share, and therefore he wants it transferred to his wife's name so that it can be transferred to his.

    Therefore, OP needs an attorney to review the transfer from her sister to her, to ensure that it was all done properly, and then said attorney needs to represent her for this action on her mother's estate.
  7. #7
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    Except... The citation received by OP indicates that letters were already issued to the deceased sister.

    Assuming may have already gotten the better of me here... But I assume that...
    Her will may have left me and my brother in law as co-executors...
    ... actually means "contingent or successor co-executors."
  8. #8
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by anteater View Post
    Except... The citation received by OP indicates that letters were already issued to the deceased sister.

    Assuming may have already gotten the better of me here... But I assume that...

    ... actually means "contingent or successor co-executors."
    I am not disagreeing, but I think its the house that the BIL cares about at this point. I have a feeling he does not know that his wife signed it over to her sister.
  9. #9
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Is there a mortgage loan on the property?
  10. #10
    YankeeFan is offline Junior Member
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    I appreciate the comments. To tie up a couple of loose ends--my mother passed away in 2003 and we kept the house in her name. My sister passed away this past fall. It is very possible that my brother in law does not know that the house was signed over. I guess that is something I will find out in a few weeks. And there is no mortgage on the house. Its been paid off for many years. This is the house I grew up in. The house that my mom and dad had built..

    One other question, I have no idea what to expect at the court date. I mean, is a major decision made then and there, or is it basically just the starting point of a drawn out process? I say this because if it were to be a "big deal" then I fear that my lawyer wouldn't be fully prepared to do right by my family. I was hoping that it was just about serving as a starting point, and learning and finding out how to proceed and what has to be done AFTER the court date.
  11. #11
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    You've got a big problem. Sis could not have "signed over" the house to you, as it was not hers. See an estate attorney.
  12. #12
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    I may be sorry for doing so, but now I have to go way back to the original post and ask. What exactly does this mean:

    My sister transferred her half of the family home to me shortly before her death.
    How? In what format?

    You are saying that probate was opened for your mother's estate, your sister appointed as executor by the court, and then everything just stopped?
  13. #13
    curb1 is offline Senior Member
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    YankeeFan,

    You need to get this straight with us if we are to be of any help. Your attorney might not be of any help because this situation is not good as you have explained it.

    1) When was probate opened?

    2) When was the title changed to include you and your sister?

    3) Whose name is on the title right now? If your mother's name is on the title right now, you have got a problem.

    You said, "The house falling into his hands was always a big concern for all of us". If it was a "big concern" the title of the house is in only your name now.

    I am starting to believe that you will be a co-owner of the house with your brother-in-law. Give us more information.
    Last edited by curb1; 07-03-2011 at 12:47 AM.
  14. #14
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by curb1 View Post
    YankeeFan,

    You need to get this straight with us if we are to be of any help. Your attorney might not be of any help because this situation is not good as you have explained it.

    1) When was probate opened?

    2) When was the title changed to include you and your sister?

    3) Whose name is on the title right now? If your mother's name is on the title right now, you have got a problem.

    You said, "The house falling into his hands was always a big concern for all of us". If it was a "big concern" the title of the house is in only your name now.

    I am starting to believe that you will be a co-owner of the house with your brother-in-law. Give us more information.

    I think the following from the OP will answer your question (see post #10)

    Quote Originally Posted by YankeeFan View Post
    I appreciate the comments. To tie up a couple of loose ends--my mother passed away in 2003 and we kept the house in her name.
  15. #15
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    This sounds like it is a big enough mess to need an attorney, but if you insist on winging it (not recommended - your actions up to this point appear to be the reason you are in this predicament and it's only going to get harder from here), then you need to contact the court:
    http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/nyc/surrogates/faqs.shtml

    I will say that the surrogates' clerks (and law departments) are, far and away, the most helpful of any state court. But even they have their limits on how much they can help.

    Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.

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