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Now letter of Intent gone, but sibling gives Dad's home to her kids. I have personal letter from Dad he wanted house to go to both of us. Do I have any recourse? Sister lived in Dad's house for 20 winter while he was in NH and now feels it's hers to give to her kids??My name should be on deed, but only my deceased brother's name and hers are on it. Do I have any recourse??

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See a lawyer. If he died without a will, it should have gone through court and the judge would decide who got what depending on state law. At any rate, the house would have been sold and you would have gotten part of the proceeds. Your sister cannot legally give away your father's house. Is it a matter of her saying they own it or just that they are living in it? I am presuming that your dad is dead since you are talking about no will being found. Also, did he have dementia? If he signed things away while having Alzheimer's or dementia, it could be said he was incompetent to do so.
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Have you gently discussed this with your sister to find out what her reasoning is, and whether she would be willing to compensate you in some way?

You should probably consider what you have to gain before you start fighting. If your share would only be $20,000, and if your sister did repairs on the house for 20 years, and it would cost a fortune to fight her, maybe you should let it go. Even if she has always been a greedy selfish witch. She will probably never forgive you for challenging her, especially if it comes to a court battle.

Figure out what you want to gain. If you need to show her she can't walk all over you, then go for it. If you mostly just want to get the money, make sure it would be enough to justify losing your sister - and her kids, if you like them.

With every story here, you are the only one that knows what the situation is. Just consider the whole picture. I hope you end up satisfied that what you do is right for you.
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Please get a lawyer as fast as possible; good advice from many tho', i.e. maybe it will cost you more than your share of the house is worth, be careful. My story is too long to write here, but I can tell you when it comes to siblings, control and greed seem to take over. Keep your faith and integrity - the truth shall set you free. I know what you are experiencing...from my own personal experience.
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Sorry again for missing the deceased brother. Obviously my glasses aren't doing me much good.
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Sorry gropup, I thought you said your dad's sister but it's your sister. I'm dorky. But my response is still the same. Sis can't just take over. She may have been the favorite, good daughter etc etc, but legally she just can't commandeer everything. My dad never got anything from his mother while she was alive, until she passed away. She stated in her will that he would be executor and be the one to divide among his siblings plus he got an executor's fee as well. So there may be some surprises from your dad that sis isn't aware of and if you can, go through the house and check every piece of paper you can find to see what his thoughts were. But still get a lawyer.
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I don't know what can be done without a will. If your siblings became executors when he died they probably would have needed to sell the house to settle the estate. Seeing as the house was given to other family members it probably wasn't needed for the estate so they could have done what they wanted with the house. THe best thing would be to get a lawyer's opinion.
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I agree that it is less than ideal. If the property was transferred to the two siblings prior to the father's death, it would not be part of his will if there had been one. The only argument in this case would be if the father was competent at the time of transfer and the manner the title to the property was transferred.
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You need good legal with experience in probate court. If you don't know of an attorney of this type (and it IS a specialty) then go to the drop-down list on this site for elder law attorneys in your state to ask if they do it or a referral to one.

Also most county courthouse's have documents on-line. You can go to the records for probate court (all records are public documents and anyone can pay to get documents with or without any interest in it). Click on a dz or so of the recent filings. What will happen is that the same attorney names will show up time & time again. These are the guys with the experience you need. They know the courthouse and the judges and can get your position in the best light. Personally I think you have a less than ideal situation as it seems that Sissy is already and has been the owner of 50% and brother's heirs could go after his share and leaves not too much for you. If the assessor value of the property is modest, the cost to challenge Sissy's claim may well exceed your possible % value on the home.
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Without a will, it doesn't look good.
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A big question here is when did your sister and deceased brother receive ownership of the house? If it was transferred to them before your father died and while he was competent, the house belongs to them... or to your sister since your brother is deceased. I don't understand why your name was not on the will with theirs. Do you know why this happened? Your father would have had to transfer the deed.
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It may depend on your state. I can tell you what has happened twice in my family. In the first case, 1987, my mother's husband stood up in court and said he "burned her Will" because it was "outdated in his opinion." It didn't matter that I had certified true copies, and other copies, and daily communication with her, and had HIS ENTIRE local family testifying against him, stating they knew her intentions were for me, the only child, to have her half. Judge ruled he got her share of the house - even though they had been separated six years approximately. Case two, he remarries. Second wife dies in 2003, her signed Will goes missing as well. She must have been wiser - she had a second signed copy and gave it to her son. That other signed version showed up five years after her death, in a court proceeding. They had a signed pre-nupt, as well, and the combination, although not directly, the family did get her house back in the end (not from him, but through a court-appointed Trustee and complicated legal mess.)

State laws vary on when squatters actually do get the property. In the state where my family's cases happened, it is 21 years. You can look this up online. Go to the Secretary of State's website. You are looking for something similar in title to the (state name) Revised Code. Then look for a section dealing with Real Estate. It may be twenty pages long, more or less, clause by clause. If you have trouble finding the laws, call the Secretary of State's office and the office can help you find this info. The office won't give legal advice, but the office can point you to where the law is to read it. Lawyers - some are great, many are not so great. Many won't do their own research - or - even assign it to a junior lawyer. In our cases, over five years of court case time - research time billed: under three hours - spread over many lawyers. Lawyers are overwhelmed and take only the best cases they think they can win. I hope your house is worth it. If you get caught up in a court mess, it add up to $50,000 - $80,000 in lawyer fees and court fees. If you stay at Common Pleas level and she doesn't challenge the Ruling, then maybe you can get it all done for under $10,000.

Another point - there are "laws" and then there is "what happens". It seems that it is not so much 'what the laws are' - but 'who has the best story in court' and they apply the historic cases that seem to support their position. You may find their are better ways to get your inheritance than creating a lot of family painful drama that drags on and on and on and on, year after year. It is exhausting and most, if not all, family members nerves will be stressed to the max. Witnesses may die off over time before it is solved.

Lastly, be sure you want the house. Be careful what you think you want. You may be able to get your lawyer to force an "appraiser" to go through the home to make sure it is at FHA/ HUD standards for safety. Otherwise, that house you think is worth "x" based on the market comps - may in reality only be worth 1/3 or less in value....in my case that home that should have sold when my mom was killed, today has a critical repair issue and 26 years later is only worth about half of what my share would have been back then.

Good luck with all this....you have my "hug" from this end. You have to decide if the Journey is worth it -- or just hope your sister reaps her own karma is she is in fact being as selfish as you believe she is being.
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After reading all these comments, it's so sad that when the parents die, the kids/relatives go haywire and get greedy. As the saying goes, "where's there's a will, there's a relative." I have that situation going on now with my sister and she even allows my brother-in-law to take things from our parents' house and he was NOT included in their wills. They all hated each other so he got left nothing, but that doesn't seem to stop my sister from doing dirty stuff behind my back. Sounds like your dad's sister feels the same entitlement as my sister. What does your brother say? he can't be kicked out because he is on the deed. She can't, by law, arbitrarily remove him without his consent and court action, and if you are on the deed, same thing. I know my sister has already thought (to herself) about putting her husband on our deed but she can't legally do it without my permission and I will never allow it.

Like all the other posts, get a lawyer NOW. Even if your aunt has moved in or her kids have moved in, doesn't mean they can't be kicked out. Whatever the court decides. My lawyer told me, at least in Virginia, if you have instructions written on a piece of paper, the law DOES recognize this as a legal document. But again, get a lawyer to tell you what passes in your state.

I wish you much success. Sounds like an uphill battle but I think you will win this one.
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I am not a lawyer but went through a similar situation when my mother died. As far as I can figure this out, if you live in my state, you are entitled to half of his share of the equity of the house. Since her name is on the deed, she is automatically half owner even before he died. He could only pass on 1/2 of the value of the house to his heirs--you and your sister. So the most you might get out of this is 1/4 of the equity of the house. Example: the house was worth $200,000 and only $50,000 had been paid on the principle, then you would be entitled to $12,500. Since your sister is on the paperwork, she is wholly responsible for the mortgage payments and can live in it or whatever until it is sold since she was a co-signer/co-owner. If she wants to keep the house, she should be required to pay you 1/2 of his share of the equity.

Get a lawyer. Different states have laws covering this situation. In my state if someone dies without a will, the estate automatically has to go through probate court for the naming of and executor and the distribution of assets. The judge will decide after hearing all sides.
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I am an elder law attorney in Ohio and I often handle estates. Generally speaking, a letter written by someone who has passed away and that was signed by that person is considered what is called a "holographic will." Some states recognize this in place of a formal will. In states that do not recognize holographic wills, you will have a tougher time enforcing your father's wishes. As has been said repeatedly, you should contact a lawyer in your area for a more complete answer based on all of the facts in your situation. I can attest that many attorneys offer a free initial consultation.
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you might also speak to a mortgage co re deed and they might be able to direct you definately for free, agin services also for free...get as much data as you can and a laywer to protect your interests. Is your dad capable of correcting the deed at this time so that your name is on it?
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can't call my sister on anything her and her husband are the type that they rant and rave then stop talking so me/the other peson/never gets a say...how frustrating is that?
Initial consultations with attorneys is often free but mention it at the onset...I have had many consultations always on the phone and these have given me direction as t which way to go/documents to acquire and so on.
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Unclear to me if your dad passed away or is in a home. Anyhow, as far as I know if someone dies intestate, the State they live-in laws apply. The State decides how the property is divided when there is property, you do need a lawyer, legal fees can be part of the settlement given to you. I do not believe your sister can go through a bank to settle this estate without you. I do believe a personal letter would have to be notarized or witnessed, lawyer can help.
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You need to see a lawyer. Did you sign the deed? In my state, once you've signed a deed with someone, that person can't take you off without first letting you know. I'm going through this right now. You will need a lawyer to explain what sounds like a complicated situation. My lawyer didn't charge for the initial visit. If you feel your dad's wishes were ignored then honor him by doing whatever it takes. You may not get the results you want but you should at least try. Your sister may not understand the law either. Of course, she could be an underhanded bully but you'll never know unless you call her on it. Good luck!
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Get to a lawyer. Now. The sooner you give notice of potential fraud, the better.
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