If I am the executrix of an estate, can I sell personal property and put the proceeds in an estate account to pay debts?

Asked on September 20, 2010 under Estate Planning, North Carolina


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The duties of an Executrix or any Personal Representative of an Estate is to gather and value assets and debts and to pay off creditors before the distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries.  But make sure that you do so wisely so that it is not seen as retaliatory in any way.  If there is an item that you can sell that is not a specific bequest to someone maybe that should be one of the first to go.  In other words, if the Testator left a piece of jewelry to her niece try and avoid selling at first so that you can fulfill the wishes of the testator as well as take care of the debts of the estate.  It is a great balancing act and it comes with great responsibility AND great scrutiny under the law.  You should seek some legal advice with it as well.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.