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If a person dies and leave five children to split one house, can the executive not sell if the majority wants to sell?

Savannah, GA |

Five owners, one executive and three wants to sell but no one has the money to buy out the ones who want to sell. Do the three have rights to fight this and whats can they do?

Attorney Answers 6


  1. They could sue for partition, which would ultimately force the issue. Consult an experienced real estate attorney about this type of action.

    Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.


  2. Wills are not probated by majority vote. Assuming the executor was given normal powers in a will, the executor, after paying debts, has two options with the home: (1) to sell it and split the money 5 ways, and (2) to deed it to all 5 people. If the latter is done, any one child could sue for partition and force a sale. The only way heirs could "fight" the executor would be if the executor violates the will in some way. To know if that is the case, you'd need to sit down with a lawyer.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. 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 a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


  3. I agree with Mr. Ashman's analysis and options. Probate is not a democracy. It is a dictatorship, dictated by the terms of the Will, which are enforced by the executor. If the executor does not follow the terms of the Will, then the judge can overrule.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** 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. I hope you our answer helpful!


  4. The executor isnrequirednto domwhat is best for the estate which includes the beneficiaries asnwell as creditors. An executor faced with a majority opinion tomsell a home would be a good indication as tonwhat is best for all concerned.; however, nan executor has discretion and is not bound by some simple majority vote of beneficiaries. From a practical perspective, transferring ownership to all 5 beneficiaries is expedient but not a prudent decision that best serves the estate,. From your represented facts I would conclude that the executor would feel compelled to sell the home or possibly rent it while fixing it up to gain an even higher value formal concerned.

    My answer is not intended to be giving legal advice and this topic can be a complex area where the advice of a licensed attorney in your State should be obtained.


  5. It depend on what power given in the will for the executor.

    Darrell B. Reynolds,
    Attorney and Counselor at Law
    2385 Lawrenceville Highway, Ste D
    Decatur, Ga. 30033
    404-636-6616


  6. An executor has a fiduciary duty to protect the deceased persons property. They are required to Marshall all assets, pay any debts and then distribute property according to the terms of the will

    If one house is deeded to five people they would all be partners in the ownership of the property. This could make things very complicated. Easiest thing to do would be to sell property, pay any debts and then split five ways.

    I suggest seeing an attorney who can help you decide the best course of action

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