Can an executor change the allocation of an inheritance to any beneficiary?

UPDATED: Jun 22, 2012

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Can an executor change the allocation of an inheritance to any beneficiary?

I was told that I would be recieving 145K shares of a company but now I’m only receiving 1500 shares after the estate sold off shares. Can I request a copy of the Will and estate document outlining the inheritance schedule?

Asked on June 22, 2012 under Estate Planning, California


Brad Micklin / The Micklin Law Group

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Although an executor has broad discretion under most wills, an executor has no rigth to change what you are entitled to recieve under an estate.  

However, there could be different reasons why this is occuring. It is possible that a liquidation resulted in a much smaller amount after the payment of administrative and necessary expenses of the estate. It is also possible that the decedent did not own 145,000 shares at the time of his or her death.   You need to determine the reason why your shares were reduced.

You should either contact the executor and as for specific information  explaining the difference or petition the court for a formal accounting of the assets, expenses and distribution of the estate.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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