Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Illinois

This is a bit of a convoluted situation. My sibling is living in my parent's former home which now belongs to all of us siblings because both of my parents passed away. (There are several of us). My sibling moved in while my mother was incapacitated and living in a nursing home. My dad had already passed.

There is no lease, no legal arrangement, no contract, no nothing regarding the living arrangements. This sibling was living there for only the cost of utilities, but he verbally agreed shortly after my mom passed near the end of 2012 to pay the taxes on the house beginning in January of 2013 until he moves out. My siblings and I agreed to keep the house for the time being so the sibling could live there. There is no other reason to keep this house from sale.

I have just learned that this sibling has not been putting money away for the taxes on this home which will be around $7800 for 2013 and additional money for whatever portion of 2014 that he lives there. Additionally, the condition of the home has deteriorated because my sibling has not done any work on this house and has lived there with his 2 adult children and his young grandchildren for 1.5 years. Finally, this sibling was supposed to file bankruptcy while living there and has not done so. Yet, he stated that we would have to wait 6 months after the bankruptcy was completed before the house could be sold to protect his inheritance (his proceeds from the sale of the home).

There is an account which has around $10000 that belongs to all of us siblings. This money was not divided up after my mom passed and was kept to put money into the house to fix it for sale. The house needs a lot of cosmetic work to get it ready for sale, but once this money is gone, then that is it.

I made it very clear that I would not put any money out for repairs, maintenance, taxes, etc., on this home because as I previously said, the only reason the house was kept from sale was so this sibling could live there.

So, since my sibling has not saved any money for taxes on this home, and since the house is supposed to be sold in the spring of 2014 (although I currently doubt that will happen), how can I protect my inheritance so that I do not have to pay taxes out of my share of the proceeds of the sale? How do I protect myself from having to put money out for maintenance and repairs if something major breaks once the $10,000 is gone?

Although my sibling has not saved money, he does have somewhere in the area of around $100,000 plus in retirement funds.

Asked on 10/26/13, 11:14 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Virginia Prihoda Law Offices of Virginia Prihoda

If you have not already done so, you should visit an attorney to discuss your relative rights and duties. As you have apparently recognized, there are legal issues to be resolved and how to resolve them indicates you should hire an attorney who can focus on your specific facts and circumstances. You probably will conclude the help you obtain will be worth the fees you pay.

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Answered on 10/28/13, 11:27 am

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