Is it legal for a representative to sale some land that was left to all siblings?

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Is it legal for a representative to sale some land that was left to all siblings?

My mother’s sister is trying to sue the estate of my grandmother because she wants all the siblings to pay her money that she gave my grandmother over 10 years ago. Now they just recently took all the siblings to court to try to take over the estate but she is only the representative over it. Now she wants to sale the land and told my mother and the other siblings they have till Friday to buy her out or she is putting the land up for sale. IS this legal?

Asked on March 7, 2017 under Estate Planning, South Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A personal representative must honor the terms of the will (if there is one) or the rules of intestate succession (if there is no will) in your state--that is, the rules for who gets what when there is no will. She cannot take, transfer, sell, distribute land or any other assets other than as directed by will or intestate succession, even if she thinks that the deceased owed her money. If the personal representative tries to sell land for her own benefit when that land goes to other heirs or beneficiaries, the other heirs/beneficiaries could bring a legal action to block her, and/or to recover compensation from her if she makes the sale occur before they can stop it, and/or to remove her as representative. If you wish to look into this option, you are strongly advised to retain a probate attorney to help you--a legal action like this is procedurally complex.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A personal representative must honor the terms of the will (if there is one) or the rules of intestate succession (if there is no will) in your state--that is, the rules for who gets what when there is no will. She cannot take, transfer, sell, distribute land or any other assets other than as directed by will or intestate succession, even if she thinks that the deceased owed her money. If the personal representative tries to sell land for her own benefit when that land goes to other heirs or beneficiaries, the other heirs/beneficiaries could bring a legal action to block her, and/or to recover compensation from her if she makes the sale occur before they can stop it, and/or to remove her as representative. If you wish to look into this option, you are strongly advised to retain a probate attorney to help you--a legal action like this is procedurally complex.


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