Does the executor of an estate have the authority to rent out the house of that estate until the time of sale?

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Does the executor of an estate have the authority to rent out the house of that estate until the time of sale?

Asked on August 14, 2011 Wisconsin

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The executor of the estate has the fiduciary responsibility to ensure things go to who they have been bequeathed to, debts are paid (if any) and not to waste any assets of the estate. If the will is generalized enough or broad enough, the executor could do whatever he or she needs to do to make the estate have more estates (all legal of course). If this includes actually making the real estate owned by the estate a rental property to ride out the bad economic times until the property goes back to full appraisal, then it might be a better alternative to possibly selling the home for a loss. However, if the will unequivocally states the home must be sold immediately or given to one person and not to rent the home, then the executor has no choice but to sell immediately and not involve a rental agreement. If the will is vague about it and the rental is short term, it may actually benefit the estate.


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