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Saturday, May 28, 2016

Executors, do your research before disposing of small items

Executors have the responsibility to maximize the estates they work on. When they sell estate assets, they should get the best price for them. This is pretty obvious when selling large assets such as homes, but the same principle applies to small assets as well.

An executor who sells an item for less than its actual value might find that the beneficiaries who ended up getting less inheritance because of the executor's actions are willing to force the executor to replace that lost value from the executor's own pocket. This is certainly allowable under law, but of course it's not a pleasant transaction. So executors, be wary when disposing of estate goods.

With that in mind, if you were an executor, would you think that used videos with outdated technology were valuable? I bet many of you wouldn't. But recently a story was carried in the news saying that some (not all) used VHS tapes are being sold for $1,000 each. Check out this story for more information on which tapes are being sold, and what they are fetching on the market.

It just goes to show that executors who want to avoid being sued really need to take their time and do their research, even with the small stuff.

2 comments:

  1. Is this still true if the will states, in my case, "I authorize my Trustee in his sole discretion to sell at such prices and in such manner and from time to time any real and personal property..."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. That discretion will give you some help, but it won't protect you if you cause a loss to the estate. As a general rule, if you're acting in good faith and taking reasonable steps that anyone would take, you'll be okay. It's when people get sloppy or careless (or fraudulent, of course) that problems happen.

      Lynne

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