Can an executor change a will?

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Can an executor change a will?

My mum’s will said divide 3 ways She had some property in Barbados which has
been sold. The executor my brother has decided to divide the money between my
deceased sister’s children and his. Can he do that?

Asked on December 1, 2017 under Estate Planning, Alaska

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The executor has a fiduciary duty to comply with the provisions of the Will.  The executor cannot alter the provisions of the Will.
You can sue the executor for breach of fiduciary duty and petition the court to appoint a successor as executor.  As for any proceeds the executor wrongfully distributed, your remedy is to seek a constructive trust in your lawsuit.  A constructive trust will require the parties, who wrongfully received the funds from the Barbados property sale, to return those funds to your mother's estate.  If they have spent those funds, items they have purchased or their value will be returned to your mother's estate because of the constructive trust.  The constructive trust can trace the funds to acquisitions. 


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