Can the executor of someone’s Will go against the testator’s wishes?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can the executor of someone’s Will go against the testator’s wishes?

My 94 year old grandmother had a Will in which my aunt is the executor of. My grandmother’s short term memory is getting worse to where she is needing home care. My uncle who takes care of her, wants to put her in a home. Can he and my aunt sell my grandmother’s mobile home that she put in the Will before she dies to put her in a home?

Asked on January 1, 2019 under Estate Planning, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, they can do this. A will has NO power or effect before a person dies--it does not in anyway control what can be done with or to their property while they are alive. It can be used by them or for them (e.g. by a guardian or person with a POA) freely, even if that means it won't be available for heirs later. The terms of a will should always be read as (example), "IF I still have my mobile home when I pass away, THEN it does to...."

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