Is it legal for an executor to benefit from a Will before all beneficiaries have signed off on it?

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Is it legal for an executor to benefit from a Will before all beneficiaries have signed off on it?

I am a beneficiary of a Will that has been in probate for almost a year. The executor (who is also a beneficiary) has recently began using some acreage for livestock and harvesting hay. A portion of the land the executor is using has been willed to me.

Asked on June 25, 2013 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is okay for the executor to use the land for livestock and harvesting hay. After all, it won't do you any good to force the executor to let the hay rot in the field without harvesting it. The executor does not need to get the beneficiaries' permission to do this. However, the executor should be using the money from the sale of the hay for the beneficiaries (for example, to pay for maintenance or taxes or improvements on the property). When the estate is finally wrapped up, the executor should account for any income from the property during probate.


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