What powers does the executor of a Will have?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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What powers does the executor of a Will have?

My father passed and my brother was made executor of estate. In the Will, my dad didn’t put who gets his

cars or what happens to them. Is what happens to the cars decided just by my brother?

Asked on September 30, 2017 under Estate Planning, Georgia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, the executor does not decide who inherits what. That is determined by the will, assuming the will does provide for gets them (sometimes the will doesn't list all assets by name, but if there is a "residual clause"--something to the effect that "the rest and residue of my estate goes to...", then the cars are lumped in with and distributed along with the rest or residue of the estate); or if a will truly does not cover or address certain assets, those assets will be distributed according to the rules for "intestate succession," or who gets what when there is no will, in your state. If there are only the two siblings (you and your brother) and no surviving spouse, then the two of you will, per the rules for intestate succession, split the cars. If you and he can agree to how to physically divide them (e.g. "you get the Mustang, I get the Camaro, ok?") that will take care of it; if you can't, the cars should be sold and the value or proceeds divided evenly. It is within the executor's power to make the decision to sell assets, if they cannot be divided physically "in kind," and split the proceeds, if that's the best way to handle their division.

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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