If I’ve recently become the representative of my deceased father’s estate and the house is not worth what is owed to the bank, how can it try to recover the difference?

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If I’ve recently become the representative of my deceased father’s estate and the house is not worth what is owed to the bank, how can it try to recover the difference?

Am I allowed to remove things from inside the house that I or my family might want? My father’s ex-wife has a key and has been coming in often and taking things that she claims is hers. Is there anyway I can get in trouble for this? I’m so worried and stressed and I don’t know what to do.

Asked on June 7, 2015 under Estate Planning, Maryland

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the stress all this has caused.  You as the Executor of the estate have a fiduciary duty to protect estate assets and to safeguard the house.  So change the locks. As for the personal property that is not considered a "fixture"  - such as a wired lamp, mantel, window treatments - it is part of the estate and you can take it out of the house.  Here is a guide for you:

http://registers.maryland.gov/main/publications/AdministrationBooklet2013final.pdf

Good luck.


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