Can you sue an executor of an estate that has grossly mishandled the selling of assets?

Asked over 2 years ago - Memphis, TN

I recently found out that my cousin left me 25% of some very valuable land. It was valued at 1.6 million 6 years ago. I was never notified by the attorneys that I was in the will. It just happened that I found out and then started checking into things and found out that very shortly after the will was probated, the executor sold the land for 134,000. There are 4 arces that are very valuable. The land next to it is on the market now for 450,000 an acre. I found no information that the land was publicly listed. It shows on the register of sale that a contract and a closing happened in two days. There is something very wrong here. My cousin was so proud of this property.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Robert V Cornish Jr.

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Having practiced in Shelby County, you're likely looking at some kind of accounting action that would be heard before the Chancery Court. The lack of notification to you is very troubling, and the idea that this property was sold in two days shows some sort of prearrangement in my view. Chances are the executor may be bonded, which could provide some avenue for relief.

    Happy to discuss further.



    The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client... more
  2. Paul A. Smolinski


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Well - pretty much anyone can sue anyone else anymore. However, before you spend the big bucks with the filing of a lawsuit I suggest that you hire an attorney in the area that the probate estate was opened. You may want to look to to find a probate attorney.

    Through the attorney you need to gather a lot more information and you should do so quickly to insure that you don't lose any rights that you may have.

    Good Luck!

    Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his... more
  3. William Ira Howell Acuff

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . My first suggestion is to contact a probate lawyer in the area (you didn't mention where the property was located) as soon as possible. That lawyer will be able to review the Probate file and determine how things were or were not done.

    You should have been notified of the opening of the probate if you were an heir to any property in the Estate. The Probate Clerk's records will let you see whether or not a notice was sent (and what address was used). There are a number of possibilities for how this was done. You might also want to check the Register of Deed's office and see how the deed to the property was, before and after this transfer.

    Timely action now that you know is very important. In Tennessee a Court will kick you out if you "sleep on your rights" and do not take steps to legally address your rights (it's called Laches).

    Seek out counsel immediately.

  4. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . If the numbers are as you say, you have a legitimate concern. You need to get with an estates litigation attorney right away to go over all the facts. Time is of the essence here so do not wait. It is very weird that you were not contacted if you are a beneficiary, but there may be reasons, such as them not having your address. In any event, you need to lawyer up immediately.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website for more tax, estate and business articles is and his blog is

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia... more

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