Could an executor dispose of the deceased persons contents of his home without approval of the heirs? 14 Answers as of August 24, 2015

Can an executor of a will dispose of the deceased persons contents of his home without approval of all the family heirs?

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Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
If this case is in probate the judge can make the decision as to how the contents of the home is disposed of (it would be best if a beneficiary objects to how the personal representative is handling the estate). If it is not in probate, the will may have addressed this issue. If none of the above apply, it will be up to the discretion of the personal representative as to what to do with the contents in the house. However, it is best if the case is in probate, especially if the title to the house has to change to whomever the deceased bequeathed it to.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/24/2015
Ronald K. Nims LLC | Ronald K. Nims
Yes, it's the executor's job to wrap up the deceased's affairs. Unless the deceased's will had specific instructions otherwise, disposing of assets is a routine part of the job.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/21/2015
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
Yes, that is one of the many jobs an executor is responsible for. However, if there are certain items that hold special meaning to the heirs, you could always ask the executor to give them to you and then deduct their value from your inheritance.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/20/2015
Law Offices of George H. Shers | George H. Shers
An executor [person named in the Will to handle the estate] actually has very little power and would not be able to dispose of assets. ?Once the Will is filed in Probate Court, the Court will appoint an administrator who will be given much greater power, including necessary disposing of assets the heirs might want to keep.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/20/2015
Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C.
Law Offices of Richard M. Levy P.C. | Richard M. Levy
An executor can only do what the will and law allows.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/19/2015
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
    Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd. | Randall C. Romei
    The terms of the Will describe what is to be done with the personal property of the decedent. The executor has a fiduciary duty to the estate. That duty includes not allowing estate assets to waste. This means that personal property not specifically gifted would be sold, if it had value, or distributed in-kind to the personal property or residuary legatees, as the case may be. However, any distribution in-kind must be of equal value to each legatee. If there is no agreement among the legatees this usually leaves sale and distributing proceeds as the best course of action.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/19/2015
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    That is a very difficult question to answer given the limited amount of information you provided. Generally the contents of the home are sold or liquidated, and if there is insufficient assets in the estate to cover the debts of the deceased individual none of the assets or their proceeds would have been distributable to the heirs in any case. Generally the personal representative, if the cases in probate, has to answer to the court. I would suggest you engage an attorney with all of the circumstances so that a recent and correct opinion can be provided to you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/19/2015
    Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
    Yes, if it is in the best interests of all.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/19/2015
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    Yes, unless the Will or a court order stops them.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/19/2015
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Yes, unless you have an attorney to stop such conduct by filing necessary probate documentation into court for a restraining order.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/19/2015
    Law Offices of Robert H. Glorch | Jeffrey R. Gottlieb
    1) What does the will say about disposition of tangible personal property? 2) What does dispose mean? Sell? Take? Give away? Donate?
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/19/2015
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Yes. It's not a good idea, as most of the contents of most homes have more sentimental value than monetary value, but the personal representative has full power to deal with property of the estate. If the PR sold grandma's good china at an estate sale for $50, and it was priceless to you, you could assert a breach of the PR's fiduciary duty. If I were the judge, I'd ask the PR whether any of the heirs had an opportunity to ask for tangible property "in kind," and if the answer were "no," I would want to hear a truly excellent reason why not. But what are your damages? My mom always used to say, "don't cry until you're hurt." If you have lost something irreplaceable because of the PR's actions, then raise the issue. If it's just dad's table saw, go to Home Depot this weekend and buy yourself a new one.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/19/2015
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Probably. Depends upon what the Will says. This is opinion is solely based upon the facts presented in the inquiry. Additional facts may be important and may change the analysis. If you are uncertain, seek legal counsel. We are not your attorneys. This answer is being offered to assist you in determining if you need to retain legal counsel to assist you, not to resolve your issue through an email inquiry.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/19/2015
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    Depending on the terms of the will, yes.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/19/2015
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