Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

Real property (single family home) to be split to beneficiaries 1/3, 2/3. The two beneficiaries had agreed many times over the years to sign Quit Claim deeds so each would have one whole property. The other property split was 1/2, 1/2. The uneven split was intended to help equalize a large inheritance (amt unknown) in which I did not share and 30 years of substantially sub-market rent (est $400,000) paid by the other beneficiary. The other beneficiary keeps baiting and reneging to settle the estate. As real estate values rise he is demanding an ever bigger 1/3. How should I proceed?

Asked on 11/29/17, 5:18 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Charles Perry Law Offices of Charles R. Perry

You should consult with a lawyer who handles disputed estate matters. The answer isn't obvious, and will depend on lots of factors: do you have a written agreement to the split; is this something that has to go through probate; is there a trust setting out the split; do you or the other heir have other claims that can be leveraged into the settlement; can you force a partition; there may be others, but those come to mind right away.

If you cannot resolve this yourselves, your remedy lies with the courts -- that much is clear.

You also don't want to have that conversation with counsel in a public forum like this, where the answers are not confidential. Indeed, no lawyer is likely to advise you in a public forum for that very reason.

I realize that isn't the answer you wanted to hear. Unfortunately, there is no quick-and-easy or obvious solution.

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Answered on 11/30/17, 2:43 am
Gerald Dorfman Dorfman Law Office

I agree with Mr. Perry: While a thorough analysis of your situation could lead to a fairly prompt settlement, you are likely going to have to resort to court action. Given the stakes, your investment in legal counsel at this point is a clear necessity.

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Answered on 11/30/17, 7:05 am

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