Brooklyn, NY asked in Probate for New York

Q: Equal heir - before the house is sold, do I have rights of entry to review household items to be chosen from?

The house is left equally to all heirs, to be sold and cash distrusted.

The will notes all house hold items are to be equally divided. If we are in disagreement, the the executor can devises a system of distribution of the house hold items.. if there is still a disagreement, then the executor can sell the items and distro the cash.

This to me applies to the choosing of household items, but does not mean a disagreement in scheduling or conditions of entry to the house to review.

Can the executor prevent one heir's entry to the house while letting the other heirs into the house, or can the executor make scheduling and conditions of entry difficult for one heir, conditions not placed on the other heirs?

Can the executor use these conditions to decide that everything will be sold and no house hold items can be chosen?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Bonnie Lawston
Bonnie Lawston
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Huntington, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: The executor is responsible for the administration of the estate. Thus, the executor can prohibit entry to the house if there are concerns that something will be taken without permission. If the item has a monetary value it should be paid for even if it’s an heir that wants the item so the funds go to the estate to be shared. If the heirs can’t agree or don’t want to buy the item then the executor should sell it to the highest bidder. If there is no monetary value, then the executor needs to divide the items fairly.

Benjamin Z. Katz agrees with this answer

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