Can I compel an executor of an estate to hire a realtor?

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Can I compel an executor of an estate to hire a realtor?

I am an heir with a specific legacy in an estate. The executor was confirmed in 06/10 and given 12 months to close the estate. The estate has no cash. The value of the estate is completely tied up in a house, plus its contents. The executor has merely put a “For Sale by Owner” sign in the yard. He is asking way above market, and has no experience selling a house. Can I compel him to hire a realtor to expedite the sale of the home (and get my legacy)?

Asked on March 8, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, the Executor of an estate has a broad range of power with regard to acting on behalf of the estate and in choosing what he or she believes to be the best course of action.  But that does not mean that he or she reigns as a dictator.  Every state allows the beneficiaries the opportunity to question the actions of a personal representative if in fact that they believe they are not acting in the estate's best interest.  Some states allow you to request an accounting by the personal reprenstative in the hopes of getting the matter before the Surrogate and forcing the issue.  There may be another mechanism in Florida but you would have to consult with an attorney there.  Good luck.


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