Need to know what an executor can or cannot do!
Asked Jan 31, 2007, 12:25 PM
HELP! I am one of 4 beneficiaries (siblings) who inherited a house from my father. There was an appraisal done after his death to establish a cost basis for the home. Home has not been sold yet due to family who thought they wanted to buy it, then indecision of executor to sell with realtor or auction. Executor and 2 siblings are spending estate money to 'fix up' the house for sale. It is solid and well built and in a highly desireable neighborhood, but the landscaping is overgrown and the plumbing is old and could probably use some repairs. The walls are plaster and have mostly never been painted. Carpeting is well worn. Their 'fix ups' include new draperies and new carpet. Dumb, yes, but not the question. My question is, I have asked to receive a copy of the written appraisal and the executor and the appraisal company have refused to send it to me. I am in another state. Executor and 3 other beneficiaries are in same state as the house. One sibling wanted to buy house but has recinded his offer. But he saw the appraisal on the home, other sibling is wife to executor and she has seen the appraisal. I have been refused. Can an executor do this? What is his legal standing? What is my legal standing?
If I have a right to get the appraisal, what legal language do I need to mention to make my point?
The attorneys handling the estate tell me they work for the executor and not the beneficiaries and that the executor has no obligation to consult with the beneficiaries on how to dispose of the property, simply to turn it into cash, pay the bills, and distribute the assets.
I guess I don't declare any gains or losses on the home until it is sold, so don't need the cost basis until then, but I am interested in possibly selling my share of the home to another individual since the only thing I want is not so much money but OUT of this family situation. (Usual dysfunctional family tales...) If I sold my 1/4 share of the home based solely on the appraisal and current market trends in the neighborhood, I could probably find a buyer (on Ebay?) willing to wait out the executor's indecision on selling it and/or take the investment risk that it will sell and won't burn down, etc. But I can't do that without a written appraisal to show what the home is possibly worth and it's condition description.