What powers does the executor of a Will have?

My father passed and my brother was made executor of estate. In the Will, my dad didn’t put who gets his

cars or what happens to them. Is what happens to the cars decided just by my brother?

Asked on September 30, 2017 under Estate Planning, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, the executor does not decide who inherits what. That is determined by the will, assuming the will does provide for gets them (sometimes the will doesn't list all assets by name, but if there is a "residual clause"--something to the effect that "the rest and residue of my estate goes to...", then the cars are lumped in with and distributed along with the rest or residue of the estate); or if a will truly does not cover or address certain assets, those assets will be distributed according to the rules for "intestate succession," or who gets what when there is no will, in your state. If there are only the two siblings (you and your brother) and no surviving spouse, then the two of you will, per the rules for intestate succession, split the cars. If you and he can agree to how to physically divide them (e.g. "you get the Mustang, I get the Camaro, ok?") that will take care of it; if you can't, the cars should be sold and the value or proceeds divided evenly. It is within the executor's power to make the decision to sell assets, if they cannot be divided physically "in kind," and split the proceeds, if that's the best way to handle their division.


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