can the executor of my Last Will and Testament and the bequest be the same person

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can the executor of my Last Will and Testament and the bequest be the same person

I am making out my Last Will and Testament. I bought a do it yourself kit I
found listed in a magazine. The information packet states it’s good for all 50
states and it is easy to follow

Asked on January 4, 2017 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Most states do not have any laws against a beneficiary of a Will also serving as the executor. The fact is that this situation is not uncommon. However, there are certain considerations to take into account if you name an executor who is also a beneficiary of the estate. For example, the job of an executor is to pay debts and taxes of the estte, then distribute the balance of the assests to the beneficiaries. In this situation (i.e. executor/beneficiary), this creates a conflict of interest since in effect the beneficiary is to disburse funds from the estate that would otherwise go to them if those debts were not paid. Accordingly, if a beneficiary is named as executor, the testator (i.e. the person making the Will) should consider also naming a co-executor to provide a second opinion if any conflicts of interest should arise.


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