What are the rights of the executrix of a Will?

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What are the rights of the executrix of a Will?

My mother died 6 months ago, and my sister is her executrix. My mother had some cash and also a condo which is on the market for sale. My sister says that she is not going to distribute the cash until the condo gets sold and then she’ll distribute all together. Can she do this? Also, I was wondering how long she has to take care of all of the stuff?

Asked on October 6, 2011 under Estate Planning, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  An Executrix of a Last Will and Testament hasthe powers that are given under the probate laws in your state.  She has the duty to administer to the estate as the decedent - your Mother - wanted.  She has the power to protect the assets of the estate.  What she is doing here - holding off distributing the bank account money - is very smart of her.  She may ned that money to take care of the needs of the condo like paying common charges, or for filing tax returns for the estate.  And she can distribute once as she sees fit.  It is actually not uncommon how she chooses to do this.  How long probate takes depends on many things, the size of the estate being a factor and what neds to be done.  Here you are selling a condo in not such a good real estate environment. I would say 6 to 9 months is average.  Good luck.


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