What are an executors rights regrading the sale of estate property?

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What are an executors rights regrading the sale of estate property?

Sister is executor of simple Will; house is only asset; to be divided equally among siblings. Executor/sibling are withholding as much information as possible. House needs work and was on the market for 9 months with no price adjustments. She advised us today that she is renting house to pay for taxes, insurance due and has promised new tenants carpet replacement in 8 months. Is this legal for her to do? How long can she continue to rent and do we as beneficiaries have rights to know more information about the rental? Can we make her lower the asking price?

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the problems that seem to have come up with the sale of the house.  The executor has a lot of power under the laws in every state to administer the wishes of the decedent.  But she or he also has the obligation to the beneficiaries of the Will as well to protect the assets in question, etc., and to administer the terms of the will fairly.  So it seems that you think that she is in some way breaching her duty.  I am not so sure that she is unless she is doing something to the detriment of the estate and beneficiaries that would be a breach of duty.  But she does seem to be withholding information that you are entitled to have,  You can ask her to file an accounting under the law.  That request can be made through the courts.  In anwering your questions: she has a right to rent the proeprty to pay for bills of the estate if the propert is not selling; she can bind the estate to make repairs to the house; she can not rent indefinitely to your detriment (that would be an abuse of power) and you have every right to know the finances as they are.  As for the asking price, it depends on if the price set was way off and seen as an abuse of power.  Good luck.


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