Can an executor require a beneficiary to divorce or receive a 10 year penalty?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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Can an executor require a beneficiary to divorce or receive a 10 year penalty?

My husband’s sister is the executor of their fathers no contest Trust. She has complete control of everything. Just recently she imposed a stipulation that if my husband doesn’t divorce me he will loose half of everything and not be able to receive anything for 10 years. Have you ever heard of such a thing and is this legal? We reside in OR.

Asked on October 18, 2019 under Estate Planning, Oregon


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It is legal if the terms of the trust give the trustee ("trustee" is the correct term for the person managing a trust; an "executor" is appointed by a will to distribute an estate) that power. Remember: there is no inherent right to receive money or property, etc. from a trust. You only receive it in accordance with the trust's provisions: the instructions govering it, in the document creating the trust. If the trust gives the trustee the power to make this demand, she can; if the trust does not give her the power, she cannot.  So the answer to your question is to be found in the documents creating the trust.

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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