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

UPDATED: Jun 9, 2013

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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


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

Answered 9 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.

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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