Executors and Administrators-Sale of Realty in the Estate-Better Price as Reason for Permitting Sale Under “Best Interests of the Estate” Provision

Pursuant to a Missouri statute permitting sale of real property for any purpose in the best interests of the estate, administrator filed a petition for power to sell realty in the estate of the decedent for the reason, inter alia, that a better price could be obtained at a private sale than at a judicial sale resulting from a suit for partition. The plaintiff heir’s subsequent bill for partition of the real estate was dismissed by the trial court, which found that the administrator’s petition for power to sell had conferred jurisdiction of the property on the probate court. On appeal, held, reversed. The statute authorizing sale of real estate by an administrator deals with the administration of an estate as an entity distinct and apart from the interests of the decedent’s heirs or distributees; an administrator’s petition for power to sell supported solely by a reason which concerns only the heirs does not confer jurisdiction on the probate court. McIntosh v. Connecticut Gen. Life Ins. Co., 366 S.W. 2d 409 (Mo. 1963).