Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

Probate ethics

Is it ethical for an executor of a will to hire her husband as the real estate person to sell a house under a will. I think this is unethical and 'double dipping' from the estates resources?

Asked on 2/12/09, 8:03 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Gregory Broiles Legacy Planning Law Group

Re: Probate ethics

It may not be precisely unethical but it is at least questionable and must be disclosed in the final accounting and petition for distribution. It is very possible that the judge will reduce the executor's fee, the executor's share of the estate, or the realtor's commission because of the conflict of interest.

One or more of the beneficiaries are entitled to object to the petition and accounting disclosing this transaction; and they are also entitled to object if the final petition fails to disclose the transaction.

This sort of thing suggests that the executor is either inexperienced with probate and isn't getting good advice, or is not an honest person.

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Answered on 2/19/09, 10:55 pm

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