If my brother is the executor of my father’s estate, can he administer the estate against my objections if I’m a beneficiary?

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If my brother is the executor of my father’s estate, can he administer the estate against my objections if I’m a beneficiary?

He inherited the house, a car and a TV; everything else is to be equally divided between the 2 of us. He has taken almost everything of value from the home and plans on leaving all of the furniture and appliances because he says it will help him sell the house faster. These items belong to both of us. As the executor he is supposed to be making sure my father’s wishes are being followed. Is there any way I can stop him from removing things from the house and force him to sell my father’s belongings?

Asked on January 20, 2015 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The executor must follow the will, so if the will states that everything but the home, car, and TV is to be divided equally, he must take those items and distribute them or else sell and distribute the money; or he could potentially pay you for the value of your share after the home sale (i.e. if leaving the furniture and appliances helps the house sell, after it sells, he could take a portion of the sale proceeds, to represent your share of the furniture, appliances, etc. and distribute it to you). If he does not follow the will, you could file a legal action in probate or surrogate's court to force him to do so; you may wish to retain an attorney to help you.


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