How does an executor determine what price to sell an estate asset for?

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How does an executor determine what price to sell an estate asset for?

As the executor of my mother’s estate, it is written in the will that I am to sell the house and split the final proceeds 30-30-40 with myself receiving the 40%. Am I required to sell the house at appraisal value or can I price it however I see fit? I am interested in buying and living in the house. I know of many people who have sold their houses to others for $100 and was wondering if this would be possible?

Asked on July 13, 2014 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

An executor owes the estate that they are probating a "fiduciary duty". This means that estate assets must be administered in a reasonable manner, with no self-dealing on the part of the executor. If they are not so administered, then the benficiaries of the estate can take legal action. In this instance, abesent an agreement between the estate (i.e. you as acting executor) and the beneficiaries to sell the house in question for less that fair market value, you risk a lawsuit if you do.


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