Can an executor legally divide property that the Will states is to be conveyed in equal undivided shares?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can an executor legally divide property that the Will states is to be conveyed in equal undivided shares?

It says that all other property is to be conveyed in equal shares to (names of beneficiaries) in equal undivided shares. The executor, also a beneficiary, is dividing it actually in unequal shares to their benefit.

Asked on February 24, 2017 under Estate Planning, Texas


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

An executor must act in the best interests of the estate when carrying out the terms of the Will. They must not act to their own benefit. Further, it is a breach of the executor's "fiduciary duty" if they fail to carry out the terms of the Will. If the executor fails to properly administer their duties, a beneficiary may petition the probate court to have the executor removed, which the court will do if there is evidence of self-dealing and/or fraud. Finally, in some cases, an executor may be held personally liable for not properly carrying out their duties. If you think that have a claim against an executor, you should consult directly with a probate law attorney who can best advise you once hearing all of the details of your situation.

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 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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