Responsibilities of executor of the estate

My sister was named executor of the estate upon my mother’s passing. Equal share
among three kids but my sister says ‘As executor and trustee of the estate, I am
not required to consult with two others named in the will as equal shares to
decide on the disposition of properties or the contents. She has already removed
items of value without records. How do we evenly split the contents or value if
she can disposition it without us?

Asked on December 18, 2017 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The executor / executrix must comply with the provisions of the Will.  Your sister is breaching a fiduciary duty as executrix by taking / removing property and also altering the disposition of equal shares of your mother's property to the beneficiaries as the Will provided.
The beneficiaries can sue your sister for breach of fiduciary duty and have her removed as executrix and have a successor appointed.  Your sister can also be sued for conversion which is theft in a civil case.  The remedy for conversion  is a constructive trust which will require your sister to return items to your mother's estate which your sister has stolen.  The constructive trust can be used to trace the missing items.  The constructive trust will require the items or their value (if they have been sold) to be returned to the estate.


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