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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?

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Attorney answers 6


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

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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.

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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

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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.

John P Corrigan

John P Corrigan


Typo -- "for all" not "formal"


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


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