Court Affirms Judgment Against Executor That Deeded Estate Property To Himself

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In In the Estate of Montemayor, the trial court entered summary judgment for an estate beneficiary on a claim to quiet title as against the independent executor, who had deeded estate property to himself. No. 04-15-00397-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 7616 (Tex. App.—San Antonio June 1, 2016, no pet. history). The executor appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed. On appeal, the executor argued that the trial court erred by granting the motion for summary judgment because his affidavit allegedly raised a fact issue that when he sold and conveyed the property to himself, he had the authority to do so. The court of appeals noted that a personal representative of an estate may not purchase any estate property sold by the representative or any co-representative of the estate. The court also noted that there is an exception for when the will authorizes such a sale. The court concluded that: “It is undisputed that Montemayor was the independent executor of Luisa’s estate when he deeded the property to himself. The will did not authorize Montemayor to purchase the estate property. Therefore, Calentine established Montemayor’s claim to the property was invalid or unenforceable.” Id. The trial court correctly granted summary judgment, declaring the deed void and quieting title in the new representative of the estate.

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