Can an executor decide to put money willed to someone into a Trust without their permission?

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Can an executor decide to put money willed to someone into a Trust without their permission?

My grandfather died a few months ago and designated his wife, not my biological grandmother (who passed away quite some time ago) as the executor of his estate. In his Will he left a sizable sum of money to my mother. I have heard from one of my grandfather’s wife’s friends that she intends to place my mother’s inheritance into a trust which will only allow my mother to access a certain amount of it at a time and if possible, only with her consent she is quite the control freak. My mother has not consented to this action in any way and to my knowledge nothing is stated in the will saying that this is how it should be carried out. Can she legally do this as the executor of the estate, even without the permission of the beneficiary it affects?

Asked on March 21, 2018 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The executor must comply with the provisions in the Will.  The executor cannot alter those provisions.  If the executor alters the provisions in a Will, the executor has breached a fiduciary duty and should be removed.  Your mother should petition the probate court  to have the executor removed for breach of fiduciary duty (altering the provisions of the Will in this case) and have a successor appointed as executor.


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