How can an executor get paid before estate assets are sold?

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How can an executor get paid before estate assets are sold?

I am a 75 year old woman and the executor of my sisters Will. Her children do not wish to sell her house, basically her only asset. The estate is about to receive funds from settlement of another sibbling’s estate. Can I legally withhold my executor fee of 2.5 % from this settlement. Since her children plan on waiting until the economy improves, I fear that I will be dead and gone before this estate is settled?

Asked on June 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your losses here.  Although I do not wish to put you in the position of being the "bad guy" in this matter, nor do I wish to have you at odds with your nieces and nephews, but you as the executor of the estate have the right to do what you need to settle the debt.  And if that means that you have to sell the house now then so be it.  Your solution, though, does seem to be one that may be a good compromise for all.  I would consult with an attorney on the matter.  Remember that you can not distribute any of the estate assets to beneficiaries or take your fee until debts are paid and taxes are paid.  Then if it can be done, take you fee and then transfer the house in to the names of her children and close the estate.  Good luck.


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