Can an executor legally divide property that the Will states is to be conveyed in equal undivided shares?

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Can an executor legally divide property that the Will states is to be conveyed in equal undivided shares?

It says that all other property is to be conveyed in equal shares to (names of beneficiaries) in equal undivided shares. The executor, also a beneficiary, is dividing it actually in unequal shares to their benefit.

Asked on February 24, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

An executor must act in the best interests of the estate when carrying out the terms of the Will. They must not act to their own benefit. Further, it is a breach of the executor's "fiduciary duty" if they fail to carry out the terms of the Will. If the executor fails to properly administer their duties, a beneficiary may petition the probate court to have the executor removed, which the court will do if there is evidence of self-dealing and/or fraud. Finally, in some cases, an executor may be held personally liable for not properly carrying out their duties. If you think that have a claim against an executor, you should consult directly with a probate law attorney who can best advise you once hearing all of the details of your situation.


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