Rights of beneficiaries
Our mother passed in October of 2011 and our estrangesd sister is the executrix of the estate in the NJ surrogate court. She has done a partial inventory and has had some of the items appraised. We have asked for a copy of the appraisal and a right of first refusal for the personal property. She has told us that we are not entitled to a copy of the appraisal and that she has no obligation to offer to sell us our mother's things. Is this true?
1 Answer from Attorneys
I have not read the Will, so if it covers any of these issues, its language would control. Since she has probably spent estate money getting the appraisals, you may be entitled to see them. Of course, she must fairly account to you for her activities, which can be reviewed by the Court, so you can demand she show the appraisals. Again, the language of the Will may impact your right of first refusal for a sale of estate assets, although the Executrix has the right of sale. However, common decency would seem that before a sale you be offered the right, especially if the property to be sold has some special meaning. This is a general reply on the facts presented. Different facts or a review of documents might change the response. This is a response to an Internet question and the reply is not intended to be legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship.