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VanDLaw, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 833
Experience:  Wills, Trusts, Probate, Inheritance Issues
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I am the executor of my mothers estate, with my brother and

Resolved Question:

I am the executor of my mother's estate, with my brother and I the beneficiaries. There is a bank lien on the property and unpaid real estate taxes due, which I really cannot afford to pay.
Can I allow the property to go to a sheriff's sale initiated by the bank, or do I open myself up to liabilities from my brother, who may think I am mismanaging the estate?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  VanDLaw replied 7 years ago.


As the Executor you have a fiduciary duty to maintain and manage the Estate. The Estate "owns" the property until it is distributed to the beneficiaries. Once it is distributed the beneficiaries together decide what to do with the property, until then you do what is in the best interest of the beneficiaries and Estate, and follow the terms of the Will. If there is no Will, you follow the laws of intestacy in your State.


Your thought about contacting the bank is exactly what you should do, and then you should present what you are told to your brother. You say that 'you' cannot afford to pay, but your brother has 1/2 interest so he must help pay too, if there are no funds available in the Estate itself. You must keep your brother informed as to the situation with the house, otherwise, yes you are opening yourself up to liability. However, it is still your ultimate decision in regards XXXXX XXXXX estate, and as long as you could defend your actions as reasonable under the circumstances and then you should be fine.

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