Can an Executor of a Will be a Beneficiary
Yes, an executor can be and generally is a beneficiary of a will because of the testator of the will typically choose a family member who has a full understanding of the testator’s wishes and the assets in which they have in stocks, bonds, real estate, and other financial vehicles.
Can the Executor of a Will change the Will?
It’s a criminal offense for anyone to change the will. The executor of the will cannot change the will. The beneficiaries cannot change it either. Legitimate wills are executed as they are. The exception is when beneficiaries agree to change certain aspects of the will or if a beneficiary wins in court after contesting a will.
Can an Executor override a Beneficiary?
An Executor can override a beneficiary and stay compliant to their fiduciary duty as long as they remain faithful to the Will as well as any court mandates, which include paying state and federal back taxes, debts, and that the estate has assets to pay out to the beneficiary.
Can an Executor of a Will Change the Will
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Can An Executor Override the Beneficiary and Change the Will?
If you are an executor and need to override a beneficiary, stay on the right side of the court so that your Fiduciary Duty is not compromised. Should it be found you were self-dealing, you can be compelled by the court to pay back all assets used in your behalf.
Now, the question is, can an executor override a beneficiary? The answer is it depends. As the Executor, you have the responsibility to carry out the essential task of carrying out the Testator’s Last Will and Testament to the best of your ability. Therefore, your legal duty is first, to follow the law, seek counsel where necessary such that there is no breach of fiduciary duty.
With that said, when can you override a beneficiary?
The Last Will and Testament will give the amount of discretion an executor can use when settling an estate. Legally and in many instances, the Will gives a fairly wide latitude in protecting the assets of the estate.
Take away: Even if an executor, in good faith, attempts to sell a property within the estate, and it does not go through, a beneficiary can’t merely say they were acting in a non-fiduciary capacity. Court’s will refuse to remove an executor when good-faith is taken on behalf of the estate.
What if the Executor makes a judgment call?
The Executor should seek legal counsel when a situation is not clear. You see, the Executor is to carry out the intent of the Testator. If its deemed your actions are a severe breach of trust and fiduciary duty, you can be held liable. Being held responsible can result in civil liability. Learn more about what an executor cannot do to stay compliant.
Can an Executor of a Will Change the Will
When should an Executor Seek Counsel?
With counsel, you always have a legal responsibility to the Testator first and foremost. You are to protect the estate, probate the Will, and get everyone paid. Should a beneficiary ask you to pay them out of sequence, i.e., distribute the estate to the beneficiary first before paying taxes, paying creditors, etc.. You would be in good standings to override the beneficiary.
Remember, in being an executor; you will be handling the finances but also people. Keep proper financial records, follow the will instructions, and protect the estate assets.
Lastly, when considering to override a beneficiary, make sure it doesn’t breach their Trust beneficiary rights like open communication.
What an Executor cannot do
- Not locate the Will
- To be careless and allow the assets in the Will to disappear.
- Not manage the creditors and not pay taxes.
- Sell assets way below fair market value and can be shown self-dealing.
- Mismanage Real Estate: Selling a property without completing their due diligence, e.g., getting an appraisal and possibly multiple offers.
- Co-mingling: Mixing the Executor monies with the estate.
What an Executor cannot do? Go against the wishes of the Testator, not seek counsel, and not communicate with Beneficiaries.
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Are you looking for a probate lawyer in the Orange County area? When it comes to the practice of Trust and estates, it can be difficult finding an attorney that’s experienced in
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