My sister has backed out of being executor of mom's will, so it passes to me. Any ideas? -

My sister has backed out of being executor of mom's will, so it passes to me. Any ideas?


Mom did state in the will for her condo to be sold and divided equally between me and two other siblings, not including the sister who backed out as she is wealthy. This is tricky for me as I am wanting to stay in the condo where I have lived for 8 yrs. and am way too tired to be dealing with packing up and moving at this point. My sister says that with me being executor it puts me in better place strategically to stay here. I need strategies on how to do this......with the least conflict possible. Any ideas? cadams

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So does moms will clearly allows for $Sissy to step back from executor and have you named as back-up executor?

Assuming will allows, as one who has been an executor more than once, I’d be somewhat concerned that the other heirs that anticipate sharing $ from condo sale - should you not have the best relationship with them - could view actions you take as executor to as being “self dealing” if you get the condo.

Even if your plan is to buy their share out & you personally have all the $$ to do so, please pls keep in mind that you will need to be super duper extra transparent & even in how you as executor go about determining the assets of the estate. If one of the others - or better yet their spouse - should challenge how you went about determining value & doing the distribution and bring it up within probate, it will stall getting all done. If probate should need to switch to probate with litigation, it will get very very costly.

A ? for you, $Sissy, is she fixed and adamant about not being executor? As $Sissy is not a named heir, $Sissy, to me, is in a better position to be executor. She’s in theory neutral.

I can understand that she thinks it would be better for you as executor as you can really set the timeframe to get through probate within your states laws, find the property inspector & appraisers, determine when distribution happens etc. But being an executor has all sorts of costs & time. If your exhausted now, are you up for this?

Also....When your mom dies, or if she has died, will/did mom leave enough $ POD to you in her checking account to pay for all the probate related costs and property costs on anything still in moms name till probate is finished & the condo is transferred? Like enough $$ to cover 18 - 24 mos of costs? Or is there a life insurance policy with the estate as beneficiary to pay for all these costs? If not, then it will fall to the executor to front all costs, track, document and enter all within a set format into probate as expenses/debts of the estate. Now the advantage could be that if you front all costs, it more than likely is a priority claim against the estate to be paid or be settled before other distribution is done. So Either executor tracks, documents and files or your probate atty will need to do this.

I’m just wondering if $Sissy wants to pass executor onto you as she anticipates all sorts of drama from family.....
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If I understand your post correctly, you DON'T want to move from the place in which you're already living. But your sister thinks you should. Is that right?

If so, do as you want, sell the condo and divide the proceeds. That was your mother's intention, and your current desire.
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One monkey wrench is if you remain but as you age, you become disabled and have to go on Medicaid the process becomes more complex and a burden on the others. You may want to have a meeting with the others to field their feelings. Also you can look at a one time legal consultation after the meeting
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Were you the one who took care of your mother by living in her condo with her? Is this why you feel that you should get the condo? Did she ever pay you for living there and being her caregiver?

(This might not have been the case at all; I don't know your history.)
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I really can't imagine what your sister has in mind when she says that your being executor leaves you better placed to stay in the condo. Being executor merely means that you have to do the work of carrying out your mother's instructions as per her will; and if those instructions are that the condo is to be sold and the proceeds divided equally... well, not much wriggle room there. Except, as already explained, to buy your siblings' share of the equity.

Having said that, the four of you together, if you are a harmonious bunch, can come to some arrangement about how, exactly, you are to 'pay' them. They could make you an indefinite loan, for example. They could 'let' you their respective shares at a nominal rent. All things are possible, but it depends on their goodwill and you must do everything above board and based on genuine market values. Unless you are in a position just to pay them? - or get a well-structured, affordable loan?

There is also a means for the four of you, if you are *all* in complete agreement because it requires the consent of all beneficiaries, to vary the terms of your mother's will: in the UK it's called a Deed of Variation, your lawyer will know what the US term is. If your siblings are exceptionally kindly disposed towards you they may be interested in doing this to rejig your mother's bequests and ensure that you keep the condo, but you would have to acknowledge the reality that you would probably be asking them for a gift of many thousands of dollars. Which would be pretty noble of them.

So... how well do you get on with them?

I understand your feelings of exhaustion and anxiety about moving. But it might be simplest and therefore best just to get the whole hideous exercise out of the way and avoid future obligations.
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Tot Hill is correct on the only legal “strategy” for you to be sole owner of the condo.

An alternative would be to pay rent to the other two siblings if they are agreeable to that verses selling it and each of you getting a lump sum third. Renting from your siblings - in your situation - with you being a third owner - might prove dicey as things could get complicated with property taxes, maintenance, up-dates, HOA fees etc.

Being executor does not give you an advantage for remaining there - beyond the time it takes to probate the will. You could try to draw the process out - but that’s not very ethical and once a judge signs off on distribution of assets the court could very well give you a dated for having all receipts of assets signed off on and return back to court for the final closing of the estate and your official release as your mothers executor.
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You need to buy out your siblings share of the fair market value of the condo. If it is worth $100,000, you would need to pay each of your siblings $33,333.

My uncle did this when my grandmother died. He got a mortgage and bought out the other three siblings. Granny’s house was paid off.

If your mother’s Home has a mortgage it will have to be paid off first unless it is an assumable mortgage.

If you cannot buy out your siblings you can request to stay in the condo for a set period of time while you settle the estate.
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