Can an executor decide who gets what?
If you’re a beneficiary, you may be nervous about what powers the executor has over your inheritance.
In this article, you’ll learn about:
Let’s dig in.
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No, an executor cannot decide who gets what.
An executor’s job is to follow the instructions in the will.
And distribute the assets how the decedent described in the will.
There is a scenario where an executor can decide who gets what.
That’s when the testator did not give clear direction on how to distribute assets.
Then, the executor can decide who gets what from the estate.
For example, let’s say your parents owned three rental properties.
And you have two siblings.
Maybe the will just states, “split assets equally between beneficiaries.”
In this case, it’s up to the executor to decide who gets what.
This can be:
There are numerous combinations for how an executor can decide who gets what.
Related: Penalty For Stealing From An Estate
Let’s talk about what power does an executor of a will have.
The powers that an executor of a will has are:
An executor also has the power to NOT be the executor.
Even if they are named in the will to be the executor, they can decide not to.
In this case, the courts will have to appoint an administrator of the estate.
What does the executor of a will do?
And what are the executor’s responsibilities?
Their responsibilities depend on how complex your estate is.
An executor of a will:
Can an executor of a will decide who gets what by changing a will?
An executor cannot change a will.
It is the executor’s responsibility to act in the best interest of the estate and heirs.
The executor cannot change the will.
They have to follow the will and distribute the estate per the will’s instructions.
You’ve been wondering, “Can an executor decide who gets what?”
So, you’re probably wondering what an executor cannot do.
So that you know what your rights are as an heir.
What an executor cannot do is:
There are many things that an executor cannot do.
This is a general overview of what an executor cannot do.
For a full list, check out what an executor cannot do.
An executor cannot stop a beneficiary from contesting the will, either.
So, if the executor is trying to decide who gets what you can contest it.
This will get the judge involved so that the will gets distributed properly.
An executor cannot decide who gets what.
But an executor can override a beneficiary as long as they are following the will.
An executor’s fiduciary duty is to the beneficiaries of the will.
They have to distribute the estate per the will’s instructions.
And that means overriding a beneficiary if it does not align with the will’s instructions.
Related: Disadvantages Of A Trust
The executor of a will has the final say if they are following the will’s instructions.
But if you’re wondering, “can an executor decide who gets what.”
Then, no, they do not have the final say in the matter.
An executor is legally obligated to follow the will.
Even if the heirs disagree with the instructions in the will.
If they are trying to decide who gets what and that’s not in the will, then they don’t have the final say.
You should reach out to an estate lawyer if they are not following the will.
Related: Do Wills Have To Be Probated
You might be faced with an executor who is trying to decide who gets what.
In that case, you should consider contesting the executor of a will.
The heirs can hire a will lawyer to validate:
If an executor tried to decide who gets what, the estate planning lawyer will petition the courts.
And the judge will verify that the will is being followed by the executor.
Or, they will replace the executor of the will.
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