How can a beneficiary protect their interests regarding the disposition of an estate?

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How can a beneficiary protect their interests regarding the disposition of an estate?

My mom owned, along with 2 siblings, a residential property. All 3 owners are now deceased and none had a Will. One of my mom’s sisters had no children; the other had 3 and 1 of which is currently initiating the process of selling the property. This cousin sent me a document to sign that establishes her as the sole rep for the property sale. I cannot afford to hire an attorney nor do I have the leisure to take time off from work to attend court dates. Would it be wise to sign the document? How do I make sure that I am kept informed of all details of the property sale? If there should be any unfair distribution of profits, following the sale, will signing this document prevent me from taking future legal action against this cousin?

Asked on August 8, 2014 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Not consulting with an attorney could cost you more than a flat rate consultation fee. An Attorney needs to review the paper that was sent (with out seeing it no guidance on it can be given) and look up the case law of the area in question.  I am assuming that none of the estates of the siblings were probated prior to this Aunt's death?  If they were the deed would have been re written with your name on it if you were an only child.  And really it should have gone through probate for each sibling so how can she possibly sell the property with a clear title anyway?  Please get help.  Good luck.


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