Can Beneficiaries Stop the Sale of a Property on Behalf of Siblings?

A house is listed for sale in Philadelphia, PA

If you are a beneficiary with concerns about how the executor of a will is handling the fiduciary duty the beneficiaries are legally due, you may have options.

Most of the time, the short answer to the question, can a beneficiary stop the sale of a property, is, no. You cannot stop the sale of a property if you are a beneficiary. The longer answer is that beneficiaries have options if the executor commits a breach of fiduciary duty or breaks probate laws.

If a beneficiary wants to pursue a case on a violation of fiduciary responsibilities, there will be court costs and fees. The process will not be easy.

To answer the question, what can beneficiaries do? You must determine if the executor is legally following every step according to the will. The hard part is that you also have to find proof of wrongdoing in your evidence-gathering process.

If you fail to find proof, the process of obtaining a court order might prove to be completely useless.

Learn if beneficiaries can stop the sale of a property on behalf of the siblings and know more about the executor of a will.

Can The Beneficiary of a Property Stop the Sale?

Beneficiaries are in a will which lists them as the recipients of the estate assets or property placed in the will at the time of writing. Every will has instructions, and the executor is the person who carries out those instructions.

The executor is often somebody who knew the deceased in life, such as family or a friend. However, the court appoints the executor. To find the answer to the question, can the executor of the will sell the property to himself? Check the rules with a probate lawyer.

The ways a beneficiary can stop a sale have limits, but beneficiaries do have rights under probate laws. A beneficiary must believe that the sale does not correspond with what the decedent wanted and the instructions in the will.

If a court approves the sale, the beneficiary cannot stop cash home buyers in Pennsylvania from making the purchase. Court approval is likely if an examination of the will reveals that the sale is in line with what the decedent wanted. However, court approval is not always necessary.

When selling a property in a trust, the executor can proceed with a sale upon receiving permission from the probate court. Beneficiaries can expect this outcome when the sale best benefits every party with a stake in the outcome.

In the process, the executor must follow all applicable laws that pertain to selling a probate property.

To determine if a beneficiary can stop a real estate sale, we must review a few factors that come into play.

  • Do the wishes of the deceased person match the conditions of the sale?
  • Do probate legal restrictions apply to the pending sale?
  • Do all parties involved agree to the sale?

Beneficiaries likely have solid ground to stand on if the answer to any of the above questions can stop the executor from completing the sale. Given that, beneficiaries approving the sale have a substantial impact.

Executors who properly carry out their duties, know that all the beneficiaries should agree to the sale before moving forward.

Beneficiaries vs Executor of a Will – What’s the Difference

You can look at a will as a set of instructions that dictate how to sell a house fast in Springfield but what to do with the remaining assets and real property of the deceased. The last will needs a personal representative to carry out the instructions, and that person is the executor of a will.

Since a deceased loved one cannot use possessions or bank accounts, ownership of everything must transfer. The people ownership transfers to are the beneficiaries.

If the will instructs the executor to sell the property at fair market value, the beneficiaries divide the proceeds.

The responsibilities of the executor include acting in good faith. Not acting in good faith usually means not carrying out the wishes of the deceased person.

Beneficiaries can pursue legal action after seeking legal advice if they feel that they can prove that the executor violated the intent of the will by acting in bad faith. The rules let the executor sell the property when all parties agree.

What a Beneficiary Can and Cannot Do

When the sale of a property complies with what the deceased laid out in the will, a beneficiary usually cannot stop the sale of a property.

When beneficiaries believe that the wishes of the deceased were different from the sale the executor is pursuing, beneficiaries can seek legal action to stop the sale.

Legal restrictions on selling probate property also give beneficiaries leverage to prevent a sale.

Beneficiaries also have the power to object to the sale of a property. Executors should only carry through with a sale if all the affected parties agree.

A will also describes how to distribute assets to beneficiaries. The power to object to a sale includes asset distribution if the sale violates what the will says about asset distribution.

A court will have to weigh all the factors if there is a disagreement. The easiest path forward is for the executor to get consent from every party before selling. Consent should prevent future problems from arising.

When Can a Beneficiary Stop the Sale of a Property?

Beneficiaries do not have the power to stop the sale of a property in most situations. The exception is when they believe the executor did not act in accordance with the wishes of the deceased.

A beneficiary needs proof because the matter must go to court. There can also be some issues surrounding who can claim land.

Legal restrictions surrounding probate land can also give beneficiaries a solid case in court to prevent a sale.

Beneficiaries can also take some actions to remove an executor. Executors must have the ability to carry out the duties described in the will.

If beneficiaries have insight into the intent of the executor, they can ask the executor to renounce the role. Renunciation comes before probate. After probate begins, the executor has to resign.

Perhaps the executor is in poor health or seems mentally unfit to carry out the duties. Renouncing guarantees that the probate process will have a new executor.

Sometimes a will lists more than one executor. One executor can pass the duty on to the other executor. If beneficiaries feel strongly enough that a different executor should manage probate, they might be able to pressure an executor to pass the duties.

Beneficiaries can also use a court to remove an executor. The reasons have to be clear for a court to side with the beneficiaries.

The court will have to believe that the executor is mentally or physically unfit to carry out duties. A conflict of interest between the beneficiary and the executor can be enough.

The executor might get convicted of a crime, which will make removal easy for the beneficiaries. Another path is to show that the executor is incompetent and mismanaging the estate. 

Stealing from the property, mismanaging records, or selling property below market value are also grounds for removal.

Fair market value is a complicated process within all the other processes happening at the same time. Many factors affect property value, including surrounding areas, market trends, the condition, and the location of the home.

The executor must obtain an accurate appraisal and understand the market value. Setting the wrong price can open the door for beneficiaries to stop the sale or remove the executor.

Can the Executor Sell a House That Is in Probate?

Can the Executor Sell a House That Is in Probate?

Real estate is usually one of the most difficult and emotionally complex assets to handle properly in probate. That being said, if the wishes of the deceased were to sell a property then the executor is in charge of that task.

The executor must follow all laws and regulations in the process. The beneficiaries should all agree to the sale. The sale should reflect the wishes of the deceased.

Beneficiaries can object if the executor does not follow any of the conditions laid out in the will. The executor should work with the beneficiaries to get everyone to agree according to the legal process. 

When objections arise, a court can decide that a sale is in line with the wishes of the deceased. Another consideration a court can handle is to decide which actions are in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries may object to a sale on emotional or financial grounds. One beneficiary may want to use the proceeds, while another thinks that the property is more valuable than the current market value.

Assuming that all the conditions are in place, the executor can proceed with the sale.

In Closing

The number one tool a beneficiary has is to understand all of their rights and responsibilities that pertain to probate. While a beneficiary cannot directly step in and prevent a sale, that person can object and many results can stem from that objection and legal process.

An objection can fail to prevent a sale because executors have the final say in carrying out the conditions of the will.

When a beneficiary strongly feels that the wishes of the deceased differ from the executor’s actions, using a probate court can lead to removing an executor and getting a new one.

If you want to sell an inherited property fast, we can help. When we buy houses Philadelphia has put in trust, we ensure the property sells for the right value. We’re waiting to do business with you.

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