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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Problems with Small Estate

    Michigan

    Older brother is in charge of "small" estate. Assets value under $18,000. The lawyer stated that once the paperwork came back signed from probate, the assets were 1/3 ours. There is a gun collection that was listed in the inventory. The two brothers got the gun collection appraised and also found out what the gun dealer would buy them for if it came down to that. We were handed the appraisal with only the appraised prices and older brother said if we were interested in any of the guns, he would do better on the price. He would not let us see the prices that the gun dealer would buy them at. I said I would have to talk to my husband. The next time we met, he made the announcement that he was buying the guns for what the gun dealer would buy them for. Now, that we are dealing with the small estate the judge states the heirs in the stated proportions 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 in the order assigning assets. Before the petition went to probate older brother also signed the petition requesting that the property listed be assigned as follows:
    to the following heirs in the stated proportions 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. My other brother and I also stated in front of the lawyer, that we wanted the guns split up and the older brother responded "how are you going to do that?" The lawyer said it can be done-several ways and gave examples. The car was sold and younger brother came over with a check. I asked him what it was for and he stated it was for 1/3 of what the car was sold and 1/3 of what the older brother bought the guns for. I called the older brother immediately and asked him if he forgot what we said at the lawyers office, that we wanted the guns split up...he insisted that he purchased the guns. He also split the amount that he said he purchased the guns for 3 ways! Younger brother and I do not feel this is fair and we still want the guns split. We had a meeting last night and older brother still thinks he has purchased the guns. After about an hour of discussion on this, older brother then says that he does not want the guns, he wants 1/3 of what the guns were appaised at! And we would have to pay him that amount to get the guns. Again we stated that we wanted the guns split 1/3 as the judge directed. Before our meeting was over, he then stated if we didn't want to buy them for the appraised value that they will be sold at the auction we are having. Younger brother and I still want the guns split 3 ways. For some reason older brother does not want us to have any of the guns! What can we do? Older brother is not following what the judge ordered! What do we do with the check?
    I also pointed out to older brother what the will said - that the estate be divided equally and also what the order assigning assets said that the judge signed. His comment was "so"! Sorry this is so long, but any advice would be appreciated.
    I forgot to mention that the day that I got the check, after talking to my older brother, I called the lawyer and told him what happened and he said he was done with the estate, that he was only hired to submit the paperwork to probate. I asked him if he would call my bother and refresh him memory on what we discussed about splitting the guns. He said for me to tell my older brother to call him on Monday when older brother got back from vacation. I left a message, but older brother never called him back!
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Problems with Small Estate

    My guess is that the only thing that's keeping the lawyer from advising you is that he's not getting paid. You can ask him if he'll assist you on an hourly basis, and ask what his fees would be.

    If the older brother is not following the court's order, you can file a motion asking for a hearing where he must "show cause" as to why he's not following the order. The easiest thing to do, though, if you prefer the guns to the money is probably for you and the other brother to pay the older brother the "1/3" and then to split the firearms between yourselves.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Problems with Small Estate

    I wish it were that simple...now on Wednesday, he tells other brother he takes back everything he said and he still thinks he bought the guns! He does not want either of us to have any of the guns and he is still not following the court order. My brother and I personally want them in memory of my father. Older brother wants them to sell and make money! My thinking is that he already sold some! Now I feel he is playing games!
    We are still holding onto the check because if we cash it, I feel we are saying that he purchased the guns.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    6

    Default Mr. Knowitall.please Advise

    Michigan

    In a previous thread concerning problems with a small estate you said we could file motion asking for a hearing where he must "show cause" as to why he is not following the court order. Is this to be filed with probate court? Do we need to hire a lawyer or can we file this ourselves. Do we actually go infront of the judge? Can we file a petition with the courts to put someone else in charge? Thanks in advance.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Mr. Knowitall.please Advise

    You seek enforcement of a court order with the court that issued the order.

    If you can figure out how to do that yourself, you can do it yourself. If you cannot, it makes sense to get help from a lawyer.

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