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Estate Planning and Probate/Sale of property / eviction of heir


I inherited property in equal parts along with 2 siblings, one of whom is the executor and lives out of town.  The other sibling and myself occupy 2 of the 3 apartments in the building.  Neither of us have paid rent to the Estate for several months, but I offered to pay rent from my share of the Estate savings account I would have after Probate.  The 2 siblings decided to sell property, but I said I will not sell, and offered to buyout their shares if I could obtain funds, but this is uncertain.  I received a letter from the Estate attorney stating the property is expected to sell soon and I should make preparations to vacate property within 30 days.
Can they begin an eviction action even though I am an heir and not a tenant ?  I will refuse to sign any sale of property papers, but executor said they don't need my signature.
Also, they are planning to remove contents / furniture from my  apartment I occupied with decedent, even thou I said I will purchase everything from my share of the Estate savings account. One third of contents belongs to me and I do not wish to sell.  How can I stop them from removing or selling contents ?   
I am in New Jersey.  Hope similar laws apply to my state.
Thank you for comments.

Thanks for your question.  Since I'm not admitted to practice in New Jersey, I don't know the laws there ... but I'm relatively sure that if you're an owner you cannot be evicted (nor can you be required to pay rent without a written agreement to do so - talk to a real estate lawyer to be sure, but one of the "hallmarks" of ownership is the right to occupy the premises without paying rent).  Note, though, that you can be required to pay your "fair share" of expenses (such as mortgage, utilities, repairs, maintenance, etc.).

In addition, you should ask a real estate lawyer about "partition" actions.  

You indicate that there is an "executor", which leads me to believe that the case is still in the probate courts (some states call them "surrogacy" courts or "courts of chancery").  If so, the executor does have fairly extensive authority to sell estate assets - in which case he may very well not need your signature on the deed.

You really need to speak to a knowledgeable real estate lawyer NOW; don't delay.  If you don't know how to find someone, see if your county has a "lawyer referral service" or go to avvo dot com and look for a highly rated real estate lawyer in your city.

I just googled "tenants in common" right to occupy new jersey

and found a few real estate lawyers as well as this article:

Good luck

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Janet Brewer Law Offices


BE CAREFUL about taking legal advice from non-lawyers.

I am a licensed attorney in California. I am available to answer questions about probating estates, preparing wills and trusts, administering estates and trusts, forming family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, and establishing a wide variety of estate and gift tax-sensitive trusts (charitable trusts, children's trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, etc.).

I can also answer questions regarding the preparation of estate tax returns (Form 706) in taxable estates. Please note that I do not prepare trust income tax returns and cannot provide you with any information about that type of return.

Please note: I am only able to practice law in the State of California. I cannot answer specific questions about other states' laws; I can only provide some "general" information that may or may not apply to your situation.


I have practiced California estate, gift-planning, and probate law exclusively since 1991. I am certified as a specialist in estate planning and probate law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization (there are less than 125 such specialists practicing in Santa Clara County and fewer than 7,000 practicing in California - out of over 170,000 lawyers statewide). I have served as an Instructor in the CFP (certificate in financial planning) program at University of California Santa Cruz, teaching the estate planning segment.

Silicon Valley Bar Association
Wealth Counsel
Wealth Advisors' Forum
Executive Committee Member, Solo and Small Firm Section of the California State Bar (appointed to a 3 year term by the California State Bar Board of Governors)

I received my law degree (J.D.) from University of Denver Law School in 1975. I was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1975 and to the California Bar in 1977 (NOTE: although I am a member of the Colorado Bar, I am on INACTIVE status there). I earned an M.B.A. in 1982, and I earned a Masters Degree in Taxation Law (LLM) at Golden Gate University Law School in 2010 (with honors).

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Awards and Honors
2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012 - chosen as a "SuperLawyer" - one of the top 5% of Northern California lawyers practicing in the estate planning and probate area ( Avvo Rating of 10.0/10.0

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