Can an executor of an estate that's been defined by a will buy and
sell assets of an estate if all beneficiaries say it's OK and the
value of the estate isn't reduced? The executor is the son of the
decedent. He has one sister and they both get everything 50 - 50.
I just read this frequently asked question on a website:
"14. When A Person Dies, Are His Assets All "Frozen" and Unavailable
to the Family?
In the overwhelming number of cases involving joint and survivorship
assets between the decedent and family members, funds are immediately
available to the survivors without court approval.
However, assets in the name of the decedent alone may not be used
until an executor or administrator is appointed, which, in most cases,
takes only one to two weeks. (In an emergency, the Court can provide
Thereafter, such assets may be used to pay proper debts and expenses.
A family car may be used immediately with permission of the Court. In
addition, if all the heirs consent, an estate can be opened in a
single day so that the estate's funds can be accessed without delay.
Even though these assets may be available immediately to the family,
with or without court action, they still must be properly accounted
for so that the claims of creditors and the State Tax Department are
I asked an attorney if the assets of an estate can be accessed and
used to make a purchase before all probate proceedings are completed.
I said all the beneficiaries in the will are OK with the purchase. The
attorney said no. That seems to contradict what's being said above.
I asked another attorney the same question but asked if the purchase
can be of real estate property in another state. That lawyer said
that the purchase in state would be OK, but not the out of state
purchase because each state has a different probate court. I asked
since the decedent is already dead, how another state's probate comes
into play. The lawyer told me to get a lawyer - in effect dodging the
The answer to the frequently asked question above is written by a
judge in a state office of probate administration. It's not just one
judge, it's not just one lawyer, it's the state's department of
probate administration answering the question on the department's
website. I would think this is an accurate answer. Otherwise it
wouldn't be on public display in their website.
Who do I believe?
What does "involving joint and survivorship assets between the
decedent and family members" mean?
In the statement "an estate can be opened in a single day", what does
I appreciate your feedback and assistance.