What are my options for my incarcerated brother’s inheritance?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What are my options for my incarcerated brother’s inheritance?

My mother passed away last year. I am the executor of her estate and have gone through probate. I sold her house and paid the bills. The rest gets split evenly between my 2 brothers and I as it was written in her Will. My oldest brother is in jail in AZ for assault and will be in there for what seems like at least a few years. What can I do with his share? I honestly don’t think he should get a dime for all the headaches and problems he has caused my mother in the past long stories but he cost her a lotof money and many problems throughout the years. Of course I can’t just do whatever I want with it but I’m not sure what I can and should do.

Asked on May 15, 2018 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You don't get to decide what will be done with his share, and no matter how awful he may have been, he still gets what is in her will--when there is a will, it controls the disposition of the estate and the executor *must* follow the will. You have to send him the money--e.g. send it to a bank account of his. You need to contact him and get his instructions for what to do with the money.
Your mother evidently still thought he should inherit, otherwise she could have changed her will to disinherit him; so him getting the money was her wish.

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