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Can we hold the executor of the estate liable for not listing our deceased parents condo for sale in a timely manner?

Syracuse, NY |

Our father passed in Dec. of 2011 his will said to distribute the estate equally to the four siblings. We signed a waiver of accounting because the executor said it would speed things up. Now 6 mo. after the court approved the will and she took over she has still not listed a condo for sale. When pressed as to why she has not listed it, she emailed that originally she and the other sister wanted to keep it and rent it. They live where it is located in Atlanta Georgia. My brother and I said that we want to sell it fast as it continues to lose value. It also eats 700.00 a month in costs. In an email she said emotional attachment is why she can't list it. We suspect the sisters are letting their grown children use it. Will we lose money if we hire a lawyer or will the executor have to pay.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. You signed the waiver, so you have given away substantial leverage to the executor. Consider demanding the immediate liquidation (sale) of the condo and inform the executor that failure to do so will facilitate the hiring of a probate litigation attorney who will petition the court for the executor's removal and the court-orderd sale of the condo.

    This answer is made for educational purposes only. By using or participating in this site you understand that there is no attorney client privilege between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney that practices in the subject practice discipline and with whom you have an attorney client relationship along with all the privileges that relationship provides. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party, any partnership, investment plan, arrangement, legal structure or other transaction addressed herein.


  2. It is unclear as to what state the estate was opened in. Georgia? Depending on the state you may be able to ask the court to supervise the estate and order that the condo be placed on the market. Will this cost you money to hire an attorney - yes. Will the executor have to pay, personally - maybe but don't count on it.

    It may be less expensive to send a letter to the attorney for the estate and see how he/she responds.

    Good Luck!

    Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his answers to AVVO inquiries are based on his understanding of Illinois law only. His answers are for general information about perceived legal issues within this question only and no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to extend any right of confidentiality between you and Mr. Smolinski, to constitute legal advice, or create an attorney/client or other contractual relationship. An attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement including an evaluation of the specific legal problem and review of all the facts and documents at issue. We try to insure the accuracy of this information, but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The reader should never assume that this information applies to his or her specific situation or constitutes legal advice. Therefore, please consult competent counsel that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances.


  3. Yes, it will likely cost you money to hire an attorney and it is unlikely the court will make the executor pay this expense. The flip side, however, is that you are already paying money on this and getting no results. You also admittedly have trouble dealing with her. A lawyer is not going to have these same problems. It really sounds like she needs to be removed as executor so this can be taken care of. I would consult with a probate litigation attorney to determine how best to proceed.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


  4. You likely have a good chance of forcing the immediate sale of the condo. The Executrix may be held responsible for any undue delay in listing it. However, it will cost you to hire an attorney to accomplish most of this in a timely fashion. I would do it nonetheless, because the estate's money is being burned up as it is each month and you want to get some immediate action. Also, if the Court finds she is liable, you may be able to get your attorneys fees paid by her too, but that is ultimately up to the Court.

    Good luck.

    You may call our office at 516-248-6600 or send an email to us at Ted@Thelawteam.com. This answer does not form an attorney/client relationship with anyone and any answers do not constitute direct legal advice and should not be followed unless and until you have spoken with an attorney of your choice.

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