Can an estate lawyer purchase things from the estate that they are working on?

My father passed away almost 2 years ago. The estate is still in the process of being settled. My father had a vehicle, landscaping machinery and trust funds. The law offices has purchased my father’s vehicle for $8,000 when there was an offer of $14,500. They also purchased the machinery for much less.

Asked on July 25, 2010 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  Is the attorney also the personal representative (executor) of the estate?  The facts as you state them give a person cause to consider whether or not the executor and the firm are acting in the best interest of the estate.  If you have concerns then you have the right to question the transactions.  But the attorney is the attorney for the executor and you will have to obtain your own attorney to inquire.  This will be out of your own pocket.  But if the deals are bringing in significantly less money to the estate than they should be with other valid offers on the table you have to take this step.  There is such an appearance of impropriety in the actions you list here.  Get help.  Good luck.


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