Can an Executor Sell a House without Beneficiaries Approving it in Missouri?

Posted on July 26, 2017 | Back to blog

St. Louis Real Estate

St. Louis executors are responsible for a wide range of tasks related to estate planning, management, and distribution. They must protect the property within an estate while ensuring that assets are distributed according to the terms of a will. But executors must resolve outstanding debts before distributing these assets, which can require the sale of a house in some cases.

Knowing if an executor can sell a house without beneficiaries approving it in St. Louis critical to successfully executing a will and completing the probate process. Liquidating assets quickly and easily can minimize expenses related to the estate while maximizing the assets that are distributed to beneficiaries.

How Executors Administer Estate Property

St. Louis residents can nominate executors in their wills. Courts generally approve the nomination and assign the executor to administer the estate. Along with the distribution of assets, executors must gather all documents related to the assets and inform beneficiaries of their interests.

Once the executor has been granted legal authority over the estate, he or she can begin to carry out the resolution of outstanding debts, filing taxes, and paying any probate expenses related to the estate. Once all expenses and creditors are paid, executors can begin distributing the remaining assets to beneficiaries. They must also document and account for all of the property within the estate.

Selling a Home in an Estate

Executors in St. Louis may need to sell a house contained within the estate. This occurs for a variety of reasons that include the need to distribute a property’s value among multiple beneficiaries.
If a decedent has left a home to more than one person, the property may need to be liquidated in order to provide recipients with their distribution. Selling a house can provide executors with the resources needed to pay off outstanding debts and cover probate costs. This can be done without the approval of beneficiaries and ultimately provides them with a greater amount of assets for distribution.

Managing the Sale of a Home

Selling a home can create additional challenges and responsibilities for St. Louis executors. Protecting the home is one of the many responsibilities that executors have when administering an estate.
Executors can be held liable for damages to the property. Theft, vandalism, and other issues must be prevented during the probate process. Items within the home can be removed for safe keeping if necessary. The executor has the authority to remove items in cases where beneficiaries disagree over their distribution.

Legal Recourse For Beneficiaries

In Missouri, a beneficiary has rights under the law when they do not agree with the executor’s management, including the sale of homes. The beneficiary can file a motion in the probate court to block the sale. In these cases, the beneficiary has the right to demand the executor to abide by the decedent’s will or last wishes. Should the probate court rule in their favor, they can legally request for the executor be replaced.

The beneficiary can also file what is known as a “general will contest” that can stop the executor from selling property included in the estate.

This process is a lengthy one. It is costly and can cause significant tension amongst family members. In a best case scenario, executors and beneficiaries can agree to sell the home quickly, and hassle-free.

Homevestors buys St. Louis homes “as is” for cash. They help executors liquidate homes while eliminating the expenses that can arise when selling a home. Selling a home to Homevestors minimizes any costs related to the estate while giving beneficiaries the maximum available assets for distribution.