Can the personal representative of the deceased take or utilize estate property?

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Can the personal representative of the deceased take or utilize estate property?

Before my mother passed, she chose my deceased sister’s husband as her personal representative. He is not in the Will but is driving the car my mother ownedpaid for outright. Can he do this? Also, he has taken jewelry belonging to hermy mother and given it to his new wife. Is that legal?

Asked on December 12, 2016 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The executor can't take your mother's car and jewelry.  You can sue the executor for conversion (theft in a civil case).  Your remedy would be a constructive trust which would require the executor to return the assets to your mother's estate.
If your mother's Will includes procedures for removing the executor and/or appointing a successor, those procedures should be followed.  If the Will is silent as to appointment of a successor, petition the court to appoint a successor.


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