My brother and I were listed as co-trustees for our mother's trust. He lives 100 miles away and stated from the day our mother died 1 year 3 months ago) that I could buy him out of his share of my mother's house for $10,000. The other options he gave were for to let the home go into foreclosure (reverse mortgage), or attempt to sell the home, but we have to go with a realtor of his choosing, but he refuses to be involved with any expense of cleaning or prepping of the house, or to be involved with showing/selling of the house. This is where we reached an impasse. I have a real problem with the realtor he is insisting upon (poor communication, disrespectful to myself and family...), and he refuses to meet or talk to the realtor I trust and can work with. I am the only one doing anything to maintain the house and try to sell it. The stated point of the trust and naming us co-trustees was that she wanted us to finally work on something together and emerge with a better relationship. I have sent two letters demanding that he work with me or relinquish his co-executor status. The first I waited 30 days without response, the second he restated that I could have bought him out for $10,000 (although there was no way I could get the money). How do I have him removed as a co-executor before the home is foreclosed upon?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Obtain yourself probate legal counsel to file a petition to have brother removed as co-trustee so as to allow you to go forward to carry out the provisions of the trust. Probate counsel can be paid out of the trust assets if their is enough of an estate.
Mr. Wald is correct. Alternatively, you can petition the court to instruct the trustees to use a different realtor than the one your brother suggests. The court may prefer this remedy, as it is less drastic.
A good probate legal counsel may be able to suggest other possible solutions. If the impasse continues, however, your only solution is to petition the court for assistance. A petition should be done with the lawyer's assistance.
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