Responsibilities of executor of the estate

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Responsibilities of executor of the estate

My sister was named executor of the estate upon my mother’s passing. Equal share
among three kids but my sister says ‘As executor and trustee of the estate, I am
not required to consult with two others named in the will as equal shares to
decide on the disposition of properties or the contents. She has already removed
items of value without records. How do we evenly split the contents or value if
she can disposition it without us?

Asked on December 18, 2017 under Estate Planning, California


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The executor / executrix must comply with the provisions of the Will.  Your sister is breaching a fiduciary duty as executrix by taking / removing property and also altering the disposition of equal shares of your mother's property to the beneficiaries as the Will provided.
The beneficiaries can sue your sister for breach of fiduciary duty and have her removed as executrix and have a successor appointed.  Your sister can also be sued for conversion which is theft in a civil case.  The remedy for conversion  is a constructive trust which will require your sister to return items to your mother's estate which your sister has stolen.  The constructive trust can be used to trace the missing items.  The constructive trust will require the items or their value (if they have been sold) to be returned to the estate.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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