Can the executor of a Will decide how money is distributed to a beneficiary?

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Can the executor of a Will decide how money is distributed to a beneficiary?

My grandfather recently passed away and named my grandmother-in-law the executor of his estate. In his Will he left a sum of money to my mother. While my mother would like to receive the full sum of money willed to her to use as she would like, it seems my grandmother-in-law wants it put into a Trust where she will only receive a small portion at a time. I am wondering if she has the power and right to

do this even though it doesn’t say in the Will that this is how it should be done.

Asked on March 21, 2018 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The executor has to follow the provisions set forth in the Will; not modify them. The executor does not have the authority to modify provisions in a Will and has breached a fiduciary duty by doing so. Your mother should petition the probate court to have your grandmother-in-law removed as executor and have a successor appointed. 


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