Can the Executor take everything?
Can An Executor Decide Who Gets What?
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What Can and Can’t an Executor Do.
Can An Executor Decide Who Gets What? When discussing how the executor decides who gets what, decisions fall under the ‘Power of Appointment.’ This power of appointment allows the executor of the Will to determine who gets how much.
What Power Does an Executor of a Will Have?
When creating your last Will and Testament, one of the most critical tasks is selecting the executor of the Will. Ordinarily, as part of your estate planning, you may elect to work with an attorney to choose the executor. Consequently, this person will have a fiduciary duty to sort out your finances after your death and be responsible for distributing your remaining assets. They will have the authority to sell the property as needed. This allows extra flexibility so that the executor of the Will can make distributions based on the need of each recipient under the Will or other factors. Essentially, the executor will act as an extension of you and your wishes, but from a legal standpoint. Legally, the executor has a fiduciary duty to execute all elements of the Will following the law and to the best of their ability.
What Can an Executor Do?
Nevertheless, an executor has the authority of the probate court to manage the estate’s affairs. Executors can use the money in the estate in whatever way they determine best for the estate and for fulfilling the decedent’s wishes. Typically, this will amount to paying off debts and transferring bequests to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the Will.
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What Can’t an Executor Do?
Consequently, the most significant limitation on an executor’s actions is that they are a fiduciary to the estate. This means executors must act in the estate’s best interest. For every decision you make as an executor, you should explain how that is the best choice for the estate’s interests.
Moreover, this requirement is intended to curb executors conducting the estate’s affairs in their self-interest. It’s crucial when the executor is also a beneficiary. Because the law gives executors a good deal of power in directing the estate’s assets, the court takes this measure to address any potential conflicts of interest.
What Happens If There Is a Dispute?
Nevertheless, beneficiaries may disagree with the contents of a will or decisions that executors make. It’s important to note that attempts to contest a will that the deceased has signed and properly written rarely succeed. In most cases, beneficiaries can’t go to the court and challenge an executor simply because they disagree with one or more of the executor’s decisions. For the court to remove an executor, someone (usually a beneficiary) must prove that the executor has engaged in misconduct or is otherwise incompetent.
Executor misconduct can take many forms.
• A failure to record the Will in probate court, failure to pay estate debts.
• Using estate funds for personal expenses.
• Failure to distribute assets according to the Will.
If you can prove to the court that the current executor is incompetent or mishandled the estate’s affairs, the court will relieve that executor and choose a replacement. If the will names an alternate executor, that will likely be the court’s choice.
When you’re naming your executor, it’s crucial that you choose someone whom you know to be both highly competent and highly trustworthy. Estate Planning Tips for Beginners Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be complicated. The Law Firm of Steven F. Bliss Esq’s a free consultation and see if we are right for you. Get started now if you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals. If you don’t want your estate gobbled up by taxes, plan. You can gift portions of your estate in advance to heirs or set up a trust. Call Steve Bliss today and achieve your goals.
Can An Executor Decide Who Gets What – Does the Executor Have the Final Say?
The executor of a will has a big job. Collecting assets, paying debts, and distributing inheritances while documenting the process correctly with the courts can take significant time and energy. The executor needs formal authority to spend money from the estate and otherwise manage affairs to effectively complete the task. The executor can even decide if and how bequests should be altered in the case of insolvency.
That authority isn’t without limits, however. They must always be acting in the best interest of the estate. Like any job, there are systems in place to hold executors accountable and ensure that no executor is misusing their authority. When you’re naming your executor, it’s crucial that you choose someone whom you know to be both highly competent and highly trustworthy.
Dealing with an executor requires extensive knowledge and experience of the laws and regulations of probate to assert and preserve your rights properly. Otherwise, it is not uncommon for mistakes and errors to be made and unaddressed by the process. If errors are not objected to promptly, the rights and interests pertaining to these errors may be considered waived by the party of interest. For this reason, most people utilize the services of an experienced professional when it comes to dealing with an executor, even if they are not the executor themselves. A trained professional will be able to competently and adequately assert your rights and ensure you are not taken advantage of by the executor of the Will. If you have a matter pertaining to the execution of an estate that you need assistance with, please reach out to our representatives for a free constitution.