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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 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.


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