What do you do when one of the co-executors makes it impossible to finish dividing up the estate?

UPDATED: May 21, 2012

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What do you do when one of the co-executors makes it impossible to finish dividing up the estate?

My sister and brother were made co-executors of our dad’s estate. Mom pre-deceased dad. The money has been equally divided. The house was left to our brother as he took care of our parents until they both died. All that is left is dividing their belongings. Our sister wants everything of value. She changes her mind and makes it impossible to complete this. She wants items that were gifts jointly to our dad and our brother and items our brother bought such as the wash machine. She wants to block anyone getting any heirlooms or antiques other than herself. What should we do to get her to settle everything?

Asked on May 21, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the situation with your sister. If she is the executor then she is breaching her fiduciary duty to the estate to be fair in the division of assets.  You can challenge her appointment for that and the your brother would be the one to finalize the distribution. But that can be costly and you will lose money all around.  Is ther anyone that she trusts who could talk to her?  The attorney helping with the distribution?  Also check and see if both executors have to act or if they can act separately.  Good luck.

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