Do all members included in a Will have to be present in order to sell their inheritance?

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Do all members included in a Will have to be present in order to sell their inheritance?

My uncle has power of attorney over my grandmother’s estate. There are 5 brothers originally. My father passed away several years back. In the last Will it states that the beneficiaries are the 4 remaining brothers my sister, brother

and myself. However, the brother with the power of attorney has been selling off the assists without our knowledge. Can he do this?

Asked on August 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, Oklahoma

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

A power of attorney has NO effect or power once the person granting it dies; it "dies" (so to speak) with them. If you mean that the brother who was named the executor or appointed the estate's personal representative is doing this, whether it is legal depends on whether he is getting fair value for the assets and then is (or will, when the time is right) distribute them to the other heirs as per the will. Many things are hard to "share" among five heirs, like a house, boat, car, etc. The executor's job is to carry out the wishes of the will in an effecient and fair manner. Sometimes--even often--that means selling assets so that the proceeds or profits can be shared among multiple heirs effeciently. If that's what is happening--he is selling the items for more or less what they are worth, in order to distribute the money--he is doing nothing wrong.
On the other hand, if he is selling the assets to his friends or associates for less than they are worth, or buying them himself for less than they are worth, or pocketing the money from the sale himself, then he is likely doing something wrong and there may be a legal claim against him.


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