If the administrator handling an estate says personal property may need to be sold, do named heirs in the Will have right to purchase said items first?

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If the administrator handling an estate says personal property may need to be sold, do named heirs in the Will have right to purchase said items first?

There is a Will and not a lot of money or things of any value. Being told items may be sold and have asked with no response if named heirs have the right to purchase first. Also, being told to provide list of items given to us by deceased during their lifetime. Am I required by law to do this and can they take back things given to me to sell? What are my rights and obligations. I cannot afford a lawyer so what do I do?

Asked on January 7, 2012 under Estate Planning, Connecticut

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You should go and see if you qualify for some free legal services.  Check local bar associations and see if there are pro bono attorneys to help.  Not hiring an attorney may cost you more in the end.  Now, gifts given you by the testator - the person who died - during their life time are NOT subject to scrutiny by the executor of the Will unless they believe that there was "undue influence" on your part over the testator.  That means taking advantage of your relationship with the person and coercing them basically to give you stuff.  I would send a letter to the executor as executor by certified mail putting them and the attorney for the estate on notice that the gifts you received - if any - from the testator during their lifetime are not part of the decedents estate and subject to "marshalling" and that you are putting them on notice that you may wish to purchase assets being sold off and want notification of any sale.  Throw in that a failure to notify you may constitute a breach of fiduciary duty.  It may or may not but hey, try it.  Good luck.


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