Does the executor of a Will have the authority to make decisions for all of the heirs without their consent?

UPDATED: Aug 27, 2011

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Does the executor of a Will have the authority to make decisions for all of the heirs without their consent?

My brother is the executor of my father’s estate. The Will states that everything is to be divided among the children. He has sold property and spent estate money for services without the consent of any of the other heirs. He claims that it is his job and responsibility and that he does not need our consent.

Asked on August 27, 2011 Georgia


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the dissension that has erupted.  Your brother is generally correct: he as the executor of the estate has the right to make decisions that are in the best interest of the estate in order to fulfill the wishes of your Father.  So if he has to sell assets to pay off debt then he can indeed do that.  He is not, however, a dictator and you are not without rights.  If you believe that he is doing something for spite or against the intention of your Father then you have the right to question it through the probate court.  But I would hire an attorney to review the matter fully.  Good luck.  

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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