Can an Executor Do Whatever They Want?
Can an executor do whatever they want?
The executor of an estate has the power to do whatever they want with the deceased’s assets and debts. This includes paying creditors, selling property and distributing bequests according to the will. However, there are some restrictions that may prevent an executor from doing things that are not in the best interest of the estate or its beneficiaries.
1. Can an executor sell a home or other property without approving it by all the beneficiaries?
An executor can sell any property that the deceased owns as long as they are not prohibited from doing so by a deed. Usually, they will be allowed to sell the property for fair market value if the deceased did not leave enough money in their estate account to pay their creditors.
2. Can an executor co-mingle their own assets with the estate’s assets?
An executor cannot take cash or other items directly from the deceased’s estate bank account, unless it is for their personal use. This is a practice known as “self-dealing” and can violate the trust of the estate’s beneficiaries.
3. Can an executor change the terms of the will or remove a beneficiary?
The executor is legally obligated to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. If an executor makes a decision that is in their own self-interest, they can be removed from their position by the probate court.
4. Can an executor remove an heir or change the terms of the will?
The executor cannot remove a heir or change the terms of the will, unless it is specifically authorized in the will. This is a violation of the deceased’s wishes and can lead to the removal of an executor from their role.
5. Can an executor set up a bank account in the name of the estate?
The estate must have its own bank account to receive funds owed to the estate and pay off debts. This is important to protect the value of the estate’s assets, which could otherwise be diminished by large bills that are owed.
6. Can an executor give heirs a share of their inheritance until the estate settles with creditors and the IRS?
An executor must inform heirs of the fact that they are not entitled to receive their inheritance until the estate settles with creditors, the IRS and any other parties with a claim against the estate. They also must explain that if they receive an inheritance before settlement, it is only to be used for expenses incurred prior to settlement.
7. Can an executor take a fee for their work?
The amount of compensation an executor is paid is usually based on the size of the estate. This is called an “executor’s fee.” The executor may be eligible to receive this fee from the estate, which will be dictated by state law.
8. Can an executor sell a car or other vehicle?