Can I refute a personal representive’s administrative power due to mismanagement?

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Can I refute a personal representive’s administrative power due to mismanagement?

My mother passed away 2 1/2 years ago but left no Will; my 2 sisters and i are the 3 heirs involved. My 1 sister went about making herself personal representative of the estate. Since my mother’s passing my sister. who is now administrator of the estate, has made the property tax more than double (almost triple) due to how she handled the property. Since all of this she did receive an offer of $80,000 for the house in “as is” condition. She turned down this offer claiming she feels the house is worth over $180,000 but in its current condition the house cannot receive a mortgage and is deemed uninhabitable.

Asked on June 9, 2013 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the problems involved.  You would have to challenge your sister's management of the estate - or mismanagement as you claim - in Surrogate's Court and ask that she be removed for  a Breach of her Fiduciary Duties.  THis is a tough thing to prove but you may have a shot here.  You will need to speak with a lawyer.  Remember that you have to pay for the lawyer yourself and any legal fees your sister spends to defend against the challenge come from the estate. Is there any way to resolve this?  Good luck.


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