Responsibility of executors

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Responsibility of executors

Can a appointed executor live in
the property indefinitly that he
is bound by the will to sell? Said
executor has lived in on the
property in Hunterdon Cty for over
2 yrs.Also property has not been
put on real estate market.

Asked on December 2, 2018 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can bring a legal action in chancery court (a part or division of country court) to force the executor to "account" for his action and how he has followed the will; the court can order him to sell the property and distribute the proceeds, to possibly reimburse the estate for the value of the "rent" he owes for living there, and/or can remove him as executor and appoint someone else.
One of the bases for your legal action will be the executor's breach of "fiduciary duty"--his duty of loyalty to the heirs/beneficiaries, and his obligation to not benefit himself at their expense.
Actions in chancery court are substantially more complex procedurally and legally than, say, suing someone in small court or an unpaid bill or a fender bender: you are strongly advised to retain a probate attorney to help you.

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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