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Co-Trustees Don’t Agree

Phyllis HARB 2012 WEB
Phyllis Harb is a Realtor® with Prudential California Realty.
She may be contacted at (818) 790-7325 or by email
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Dear Phyllis,
My two sisters and I are co-trustees of our father’s estate.  The other two live out of state.

Twenty years ago, after my divorce I moved back home. At first it was going to be temporary until I got on my feet. But as my parents aged, they enjoyed having me there. My mother had cancer and I was the one to take her to chemo. After she passed, my dad’s health quickly declined and he passed within the year.  

Of course my sisters want to sell the home and I don’t. Do you have any ideas on how I can keep my family home?    LK

Dear LK,
I am sorry for the loss of both your parents so quickly. If you don’t have the money to buy your sisters out, I don’t see how you can stay. I am not a real estate attorney, but it seems that their voice outnumbers yours.

It seems the best you can hope for is to buy some time. Your family having been in the home for such a long time, you likely have a lot to sort through. Are your sisters going to help with this? If not, it will likely take longer to accomplish.

You could start interviewing real estate agents. You could bring your sisters in on your recommendation. Once you have hired a Realtor®, she will likely make suggestions on preparing your home for sale. I am confident your sisters will want to sell the home for the highest possible price.

You may decide to spruce up the landscaping before putting the home on the market, and you will likely be busy with all of these preparations to keep you in the home through the holidays.  And then you might be able to stall until spring.