What can I do if a house was willed to my brother and I but he changed the locks, let people move in and refuses to buy me out?

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What can I do if a house was willed to my brother and I but he changed the locks, let people move in and refuses to buy me out?

Our mother willed her house to me and my brother and I. He immediately changed the locks on the doors, made some minor renovations (refinished floors, new carpet, interior paint) and let his grandson move in rent free (for over a year now). I’ve asked him to buy me out but he insists that he has no money but refuses to out the house on the market.

Asked on June 22, 2012 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation.  Was there an actual probate of an estate and a transfer of the deed to you and your brother?  Who is the executor?  You and your brother have equal rights under the law and he can not change the locks to keep you out.  You need to seek legal help to make sure that the house is properly in your name then speak with the attorney about an action for partition - which asks a court to split an asset in two to divide it equally.  Houses are generally sold and the profit split.  Good luck.


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