Can the executor of a will charge the state? 5 Answers as of April 28, 2011

Brother is executor and he insisted on perfecting mom’s house prior to putting on market. Made extravagant improvements of which were not agreed on by siblings and is now charging estate $21,000 for his "skilled" labor on home. Can we fight this?

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Burnham & Associates
Burnham & Associates | Stephanie K. Burnham
Executors of Wills can charge the Estate for the time spent administering the Estate. This does not include elective upgrades to the assets of the Estate. In this case the Executor should have gotten consent ahead of time from all of the Beneficiaries, and unless the Executor can show that the costs were outweighed by the value received for selling the home, it is an expense that can be challenged. It will be important to object to the Accounting that shows that expense within the time frame allowed by law.
Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
Replied: 4/27/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
The Executor has a right to bring the property up to date and repair it in order to get the best price for it. The Executor has the right to charge for their time when taking care of the Estate regarding papers and taking care of the property. The Executor has the right to be paid for his/her efforts. However, the Executor does not normally have the absolute right to spend $21,000. dollars worth of effort improving the property beyond simply repairing it and usually doesn't get repaid for physical work done by him. It sounds like a conference should be requested in the Surrogates Court and the Judge's legal secretary/assistant will work it out between all of you. Consult with an Estate attorney for further information. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/27/2011
Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC
Law Offices of Timothy G. Kearney, LLC | Timothy G. Kearney
I would need a few more facts to sort through in order to give an accurate answer but generally the repairs etc should benefit the estate - ie bring the property up to salable condition and/or and bring more value from the sale of the property. The probate court can make a determination as to what is reasonable under the circumstances.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 4/28/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
You should review the facts and circumstances surrounding the improvements and his fees with an estate planning lawyer.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/27/2011
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