Letters testamentary issued 6 mo. ago. Executor has failed to list real estate. We want her to list it or buy our part if the other beneficiaries want to keep it. And, when she was talking about listing it, she wanted to hire a close family friend who gave what we feel to be a low ball price. We want it listed for sale with an independent agent at fair market value or buy us out at fmv. We have been advised to get it appraised. We also want an inventory and accounting. Should we write two letters or one?
Go ahead and write two letters in one. The main thrust of the letter should be that the executor owes the heirs of the estate a fiduciary duty to faithfully distribute the assets and to fetch fair market value for them.
Depending upon the adversarial posture of the matter, you may want to reference the fact that Georgia law may attach attorney fees and - sometimes - punitive damages for breaches of the executor's fiduciary duty.
Consider exploring this question with an attorney. If the executor is not performing his or her role properly with regard to the real estate, there may yet be other aspects of the estate that are being neglected. Will she, for example, properly file a final tax return? Has a search for insurance policies been performed through an industry clearinghouse? Have all heirs been notified? Has the local EMC been contacted to determine whether your parents are entitled to a dividend?
Often, an experienced attorney's eye on a matter such as this can be crucial in seeing that it is properly resolved.
No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by this communication.
If there is any question whatsoever about real estate values, the executor needs to have an appraisal by a licensed real estate appraiser. This is the only way to protect the executor from a later challenge. I think this needs to be done in your case.
No reason why you cannot also ask for an inventory and accounting at the same time.
*** 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.
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