What rights does the executor of a Will have?

UPDATED: Nov 18, 2012

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What rights does the executor of a Will have?

My father passed away and left his property divided equally between myself, my 4 living brothers, and the girlfriend that lived with him for the past 27 years. I received a notice to sign giving the girlfriend executor of the Will rights, and my question is would this give her legal means to take the allotted portions of property from any of us sons? She has already taken all the monies and CD’s prior to his death, and she has three separate life insurance policies on him. We just want to be sure there is no way for her to take the property, as she feels this should be given to the children she had with a prior marriage.

Asked on November 18, 2012 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

The executor should not be able to take any gifts destined for someone else.  However, it sounds like your father's girlfriend does not act with transparency and has a strong conflict of interest.

You and your siblings can object to appointing the girlfriend as executor, even if the will nominates her.  I would suggest that you at least consult a probate attorney in your father's area for advice.  You may be well served to object to her appointment and find a professional fiduciary to serve as executor.  If you object, the court should at least require the girlfriend to post a bond equal to the value of the estate so that you and your brothers are guaranteed to receive your share.

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