Can an executor distribute an assets not mentioned in the Will as they deem appropriate?

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Can an executor distribute an assets not mentioned in the Will as they deem appropriate?

In my dads Will his car is not mentioned. Can I, as the executor, give the car to a relative? Or does it have to be sold and if so, can it be a very low amount? The car has a blue book of 15,000.

Asked on August 31, 2010 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  How the car is distributed will depend in part on how the Will is written.  Most wills have what is known as a "residuary" clause which is a catch all clause that catches assets that are not specifically mentioned in the will.  It usually starts with the words "All the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, ......"  Look and see.  If the car is an asset that does not need to be sold to pay off debt, etc., then it will probably fall under that clause. Whomever the beneficiary of the clause is may indeed inherit the car.  Speak with the attorney helping you with the case. What you need to understand is that it is most important that you do not put yourself in any position to be criticized - or worse - for your actions.  You can not sell assets way below their value in detriment to the estate unless every beneficiary agrees (and I would get that in writing).  Good luck.  


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