Does an exector of an estate have the right to make desicions without consulting the beneficiaries?

My brother is executor of my mother’s estate; he is making all the desicions concerning things that I feel should be decided by all the heirs not just him.

Asked on October 28, 2011 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  When only one of the children are appointed as the fiduciary of an estate - and that is what the Executor is: a fiduciary - bad feelings can arise when the appointed siblings acts in accordance with their power with regard to the estate assets with out consulting the other siblings.  But unless the Executor is acting outside his or her scope or in breach of his or her fiduciary duty to administer to the estate of the decedent, there is nothing that you can do.  The executor has the duty to carry out the wishes of the decedent as written in the Will.  But the executor has the power to do what is necessary to probate the estate.  Sometimes those duties can seem to conflict.  Your brother has to answer not only to your other's wishes but the state and Federal government in filing taxes,  to creditors for debts owed, etc.  So if he has to sell stock for example to pay creditors then he has to do it, even maybe if the stock was to be transferred to some one else.  As long as he is not acting specifically against one of you to your detriment then you may really just have to put your faith in him.  But you can always hire your own attorney to look over his shoulder.  But beware that it may be a very cold shoulder thereafter.  Good luck.


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