Can an executor sell estate assets before the existing debts are paid?

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Can an executor sell estate assets before the existing debts are paid?

My dad passed in KY. My aunt, the executor, told us that everything has to be sold right away. She wants truck, mower, and tools and said she already had a buyer for house (without even putting it  on the market). My brother and I are the heirs. Have seen Will but no copies. She already took things from house. Aunt not executor until 5/5, probate files 5/9. Isn’t there an 18 month payment window, or if over $5K a 10 year.payment plan. What does filing probate mean to us the heirs?

Asked on May 4, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  It seems to me that your Aunt is moving things at lightning speed and that would have me a little concerned.  You said that you have seen the Will.  Do you have a copy? then I would strongly suggest that you take it to someone to review and let you know your options.  In trying to give guidance on yourgeneral question here, an executor can seel estate assets if they deem it necessary to pay any state debt, or if the Will directs that assets are to be sold and the proceeds distributed after debt is paid.  Executors have great power so if you think that your Aunt is up to something you need to object asap.  And she can not do anything until she is appointed by the court.  Sounds like she has taken liberties before that has happened.  Good luck.


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