Can an executor also be a beneficiary?

UPDATED: Nov 27, 2012

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Can an executor also be a beneficiary?

My mother-in-law has a terminal illness, and has named my Sister in-law the executor of the estate. My sister-in-law is also a benefactor on the estate. I see this as a conflict of interest as she has already indicated that my Wife, her Sister, will get little or nothing. This is sort of like having the Fox guard the hen house. Should my wife seek out a lawyer to make sure everything is legitimate? My wife is ready to just give up and take nothing.

Asked on November 27, 2012 under Estate Planning, Michigan


Victor Waid / Law Office of Victor Waid

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, an executor can be a beneficiary by the terms of a Will; however, your wife should seek litigation probate counsel to represent her in the proceedings, and maybe have the lawyer file a petition for  an independent fiduciary be appointed as the executor, who can be paid out of the estate assets.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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