Good always trumps evil, even in probate court.
Our client Jane lived in her mother’s house and cared for her during the last years of her mother’s life. Unfortunately, after the death of the mother, one of the sisters wanted Jane to get out of the house – even though all siblings were to equally own the house under the mother’s will. The sister filed motions with the Probate Court asking the Court to throw Jane out. Jane won those Court battles. The personal representative, the sister’s son, filed another action to evict Jane and to require her to accept an offer to sell her portion of the home. Feeling frustrated and overwhelmed, Jane asked SCLS’ attorneys to help her stay in the home. At the hearing, the Probate Judge suggested a settlement to sell the property that included using a real estate agent.
Unfortunately, the personal representative did not abide by the terms of the Court’s approved agreement. SCLS’ staff uncovered that the property had been sold to the sister. The sale had gone forward with a realtor who did not list the property in public listings, ordered no signs to be placed in the yard, no showings, and no photos. Offers, including cash offers, were rejected in favor of the offer made by the sister.
SCLS’ attorneys requested an emergency hearing with the Probate Court because of the unfair way Jane had been treated. This time the judge allowed Jane to select the realtor and required the home be listed in a manner consistent with real estate principles. Offers flowed in from the minute the listing hit the internet. A legitimate purchaser was sold the home. Indeed, justice prevailed in that the purchaser agreed to allow Jane to rent the home from him. Our client stayed in the home!
Probate Court proceedings can be difficult as families try to work out issues with family care, property and other matters. This is a stressful time for families and regrettably often the emotions get in the way of reason. If you need help in any Probate matter, please call our Intake Office at 888-346-5592 to apply for free legal services. You may also apply for legal services online at https://www.lawhelp.org/sc/online-intake