What advantages does my brother have if I agree to let him become the

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What advantages does my brother have if I agree to let him become the

My mother passed over 3 years ago and my older brother is now asking me to sign a document to make him

Asked on February 7, 2018 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Any executor is the "manager" for  the estate: they gather it, preserve it, manage it, sell it (if that's the best option), and distribute to the heirs and beneficiaries. An executor has no rights to the estate (the assets left behind by the deceased) and only gets whatever he would be entitled to otherwise (e.g. by a will if there was one; or by virtue of his relationship to the deceased, if no will). An executor is entitled to a small amount of compensation, set by te law, for being executor, but that's it. 
So being executor does not give him any *legal* rights to the assets. But if you don't trust him, being executor, since it gives him the power to manage the assets and estate, could let him steal. For example: say the car is worth $10k. Maybe he sells it to a friend for $7.5k and the friend pays your brother $2k for doing so "under the table." When the proceeds from the car are divided between you and him, you each get half of $7.5k, or $3,750--except he also got his $2k under the table, which you don't get. A crooked executor can often find ways to profit at the beneficiaries' expense. So if you don't trust him and think he would cheat you, this could be an issue.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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