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Scared: SIL/Trustee isn't selling house/need Bay Area attorney

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My FIL died three years ago. In a nutshell: the SIL was made trustee, moved herself into a $1 million Berkeley home along w/ another relative and made comments about fixing the home up to put on the market but never has.


Is clearly lying as in saying she'll paint ext. of house this summer (she said that for the last two summers) then put on the market, but it seems like more stalling to us.


Dh is set to get an attorney, have her removed, make himself trustee and liquidate the property. Then pass out the checks to himself and two siblings.


My biggest fear: that she'll be so angry at being removed as trustee -- she's so far over the line into illegal trustee territory (won't go into detail) -- that she'll retaliate against us in some financial way in the future through the courts.


My brain says that no, that it'll look funny to a court that she was removed and then started retaliating, but I am still scared.


I don't want to spend the next ten years in civil battles with this woman (who doesn't work or have kids so she has the time to spend doing this kind of court battle thing).


Please don't flame me. I'm not misrepresenting the situation at all.


If any Bay Area people are reading, we need an Alameda attorney or someone very close to Alameda so that court documents are easy to file etc.


Thanks for letting me vent. I had an aggressive father so I have a hard time standing up for myself without real fear of retaliation.



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Be very careful about the Berkeley rent control laws. They are SO weird and complicated. It would probably be very disadvantageous to you to have the situation defined as a rental.


I say this because of a news story a few years back. A nice elderly woman moved out of her home for a year or two for some reason, and rented it out sort of informally to a young professional couple. There was some sort of weird registration requirement in the rent control laws--I don't remember all the details exactly, but something along the lines of that the woman needed to register her home as a rental with the city in order to use it as a rental (not a tax evasion issue or anything like that.) Anyway, the couple took the position that it was not legally a rental, and that they had possession of it with her permission, and the woman could not either evict them or even charge them rent! She wanted to move back into her old family home as agreed, and they would not move out OR pay her, and the law supported them. This was on TV--the woman's relatives contacted a news agency to put moral and public opinion pressure on the couple.


Berkeley rent control is the strangest and most complicated I have ever heard of.


I don't have an attorney referral for you, but strongly advise involving a real estate lawyer as well as an estate lawyer.

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Carol --You are so right. Dh is very aware of the rental situation in Berkeley. To make matters more complicated, the house is a large, old duplex.


And there has been the same renting family downstairs for twenty years (paying a very low rent, but that's another story).


Thanks for your advice.


It's so sad that we have to get so many attorneys just to get this person to do her trustee job.


Will we have to pay the entire attorney fee or will she share some of it?? It seems unfair that we have to employ expensive attorneys to deal w/ her.



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Wow. I hope it works out smoothly....I hate this kind of situation.


My dh's grandmother died and left her son in charge (dh's uncle)....she left a portion of her estate for 7 grandkids to share (of which my dh is one) but the son in charge has never done his duty and now I think the legal time has expired.


Seems a shame that it is so easy for a person put in charge of an estate to be so dishonest.

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