Can an Executor of an Estate Change a Will?

Find out if an executor can change a will or ignore it without permission from beneficiaries.

Can an Executor of an Estate Change a Will?

As noted in the previous section, an executor cannot change the will. This means that the beneficiaries who are in the will are there to stay; they cannot be removed, no matter how difficult or belligerent they may be with the executor. The only exception to this rule would be if a beneficiary lost a will challenge around a will with a no challenge clause, although non-challenge clauses have historically been difficult to enforce. In one particular case, a beneficiary lost a bankruptcy that resulted in him having to lose his $10 million inheritance. The executor cannot change the will and the will.

It is the executor's express duty to act in the best interest of the beneficiaries and the estate, and to carry out the succession process, including the distribution of the inheritance assets to the intended beneficiaries and heirs. The executors of a will have a duty to act in the best interest of the estate and the persons named in it. Therefore, an executor cannot change the will without the permission of the beneficiaries. So can the executor of a will change it to eliminate the beneficiaries? Not. If you are named in the will as the beneficiary, the executor will not be able to reduce the amount to which you are entitled, unless, of course, you agree.

Sometimes it can be impossible to carry out the terms of a will. For example, the will may try to bequeath assets that the person who died no longer possessed. In that case, of course, it will not be possible for that property to pass to a beneficiary. However, can an executor ignore a will? Absolutely not. If the executor tries to retain the legacies, or if he acts against the interests of the beneficiaries, for example, by selling a property at an excessively low price, he can be brought before the courts.

To take legal action against an executor, you will need to be a beneficiary or another executor of the same estate. Executors are required to follow the terms of the will and interpret the deceased's intentions, which do not always align with what the beneficiary wants. Executors are subject to the terms of the will, which means they are not allowed to change beneficiaries. One way to avoid problems with executors is to leave the administration of the estate in the hands of impartial professionals. While executors are the guardians between an estate and its heirs, they do not have so much power as to hoard assets beyond the wishes of the deceased and rights reserved for their heirs. While you can write a will on the assumption that your choice of executor will not change, there are different reasons why a change may need to be made.

You can also use your will to appoint a legal guardian for minor children, as well as choose an executor for your estate. Rahn Named “Top 100 - Trust & Probate Litigation by SuperLawyers, Trust & Probate Litigant of Year” and America's Best Lawyers for Litigation - Trusts and Probate”. Beneficiaries of an estate may feel powerless when an executor does not contact them or seeks their opinion or consent when making decisions related to an estate; however, in some cases, an executor may make unilateral decisions. If an executor and court representatives do not contact payees after a set period of time, they will treat them as if they were dead. Therefore, in circumstances where an executor and beneficiaries of a will disagree on best course of action for an estate, an executor must make every effort to act in interest of estate even if beneficiary disagrees with it.

First off, an executor's role is that of trustee not that of beneficiary and as such they are only entitled to their share of executor not inheritance. If an executor has been granted full authority on other hand they can take comprehensive action on behalf of estate without prior approval from court and sell real estate without obtaining permission from beneficiaries; however they still have give beneficiaries Notice of Proposed Action before selling such property. Most times when beneficiaries express concern about an executor invalidating them it is because they plan take action that they disagree with. Under California law anyone who is 18 years old or older and has not been judicially determined incapacitated can act as executor of estate.

Kathy Broadbent
Kathy Broadbent

Award-winning pop culture guru. Avid bacon maven. Unapologetic internet evangelist. Total internet geek. Devoted food buff.

Leave Message

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *