Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Connecticut

Hello. I live in Connecticut and my Aunt passed away about a month ago. She was never married, had no children, so left her estate (180 acres, house and a few other buildings - used to be an active farm) to myself and my brother - we are the only beneficiaries. She named her (former) pastor, Susan, as the Executrix of her estate. Now this is all new to me, so I am trying to read up as much as I can, so I can understand the process. In fact, you answered a question with regard to the fact that an Executor/Executrix does receive a fee for doing this....I was unaware that she benefits as well. I understand that the role of an Executrix is to basically make sure the bills are paid (my aunt did not have alot of bills/debt - she lived very simply - she really only paid for oil, electricity, her landline phone and property taxes - that's about it!), have the estate assessed to find out the total value of everything. Now, I have been trying to keep in touch with the Executrix, just so my brother (who does not live in CT) and I know what is going on., and a few days ago, she informed me that she was planning on selling everything!. She has not discussed this with either myself or my brother. This came to a shock to me and my question is - can she do this, since there is not a huge amount of debt to be paid, and also, shouldn't this decision be my brother and mine to make? I only thought the estate would have to be sold if there were alot of bills, etc. to be paid. Now,, my brother and I DO NOT want it all to be sold, so should I be looking for my own attorney in this matter? I was also told (by the Executrix) that I was not allowed to call the attorney who is handling my Aunt's estate (she drew up her will and is now dealing with Susan. Any advice you can help me with would be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much! Kim

Asked on 6/08/16, 1:10 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Heffernan Heffernan Legal Group, LLP

If there is no need to sell the property to raise money to pay bills, the probate court would certainly listen to the only beneficiaries as to whether or not to sell the land. If the estate is cash strapped enough so that it can't pay the executrix, the attorney and the probate fee, then you may have to come up with some cash to prevent a sale. Obviously, I don't know the particulars. You should certainly have your own attorney. By the way, there's no reason you can't talk to the attorney. The attorney represents the executrix, that's true, but unless the executrix has instructed the attorney not to talk to you, ordinarily the attorney will talk to the beneficiaries, if only to allow them to know how the estate is progressing. And why would the executrix instruct her not to talk to the beneficiaries? Sounds strange to me.

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Answered on 6/08/16, 2:26 pm

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