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Loren, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 34507
Experience:  30 years experience in the practice of estate law.
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I was appointed personal representative of an estate

Customer Question

I was appointed personal representative of an estate recently and I am a trustee of a trust also for the same person that died. My lawyer told me today that I could go change the locks on the house that is in the trust and secure it. But she told me I could not do the same with the estate assets, a warehouse. She told me that because I do not have non-intervention powers as the personal representative that I had no right to change the locks on the business building and make it secure that I was to stay away from it. This doesn't seem to make sense to me nonintervention powers or not having them I thought that was more about money that I can't make business decisions and spend money without court approval.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Your Attorney is correct. Nonintervention powers are not solely about money or making business decisions. It is about administration of a probate estate without Court's intervention. By attempting to change the locks to the warehouse, you are infact trying to administer the probate estate without the Court's approval. For the trust assets, you can do that because the trust is not part of the probate estate.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That doesn't make sense though because we are taking control of the bank accounts and opening bank accounts for the estate so why would I be able to take control of the bank accounts and not take control of the physical assets. We are also doing things like changing all of the bills and what not into the estate name, so why are we able to do these other things but not take control of the building.
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for the additional information. However, I have no additional answer. So, I will opt out and let another Attorney to further assist you.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. I am Loren, a licensed attorney, and I look forward to assisting you.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

How is the business organized? Is it a sole proprietorship? Are there shareholders? Officers? Directors?

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Are you online with me?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry was off I had to do another job. Thanks for picking this up I don't know why the other guy didn't finish the job I'm never had that happen. There is no business, there is only cash and buildings in the estate. I just don't understand really how you could take the bank accounts and put those into new accounts but you cannot secure the property.
Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

You are correct. If the warehouse was personally owned by the decedent then you would have authority to marshall that asset and administer it as a part of the estate, along with the other assets.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

I suspect the business assets are titled to a different entity and not to the decedent personally. If that were the case, then what you were advised by the attorney is correct. You would have no authority to begin administering the business owned assets under your probate authority.

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Are you still there?

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

Did you have further questions? Have I answered your question?

Expert:  Loren replied 1 year ago.

By the way, just for clarification, for a PR to conduct certain actions, even with established probate assets, the court requires nonintervention powers. I do not see how merely securing a warehouse would run afoul of that requirement, but a Personal Representative must have Nonintervention Powers to:

  • Borrow,

  • Mortgage,

  • Lease,

  • Sell,

  • Exchange,

  • Distribute,

  • Settle the estate, and otherwise

  • Take all the actions regarding the estate and its assets that a Trustee may take regarding a Trust.