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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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