May I state in my Will that I leave the making of bequests to my executor?

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May I state in my Will that I leave the making of bequests to my executor?

May I in my Will, “declare no specific bequests but instead leave the making of any and all bequests to the discretion of Executor without limitation, including the right to name Executor as a beneficiary or sole beneficiary” and then have those bequests treated the same as if I had declared them in my Will?

Asked on April 11, 2012 under Estate Planning, Washington

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It would probably not be advisable to place such an overbroad provision in your will if you have more than one child or have a living spouse and a child or children or multiple beneficiaries. If you make the executor have full power to dispose of your property by becoming the sole beneficiary and you expect there to be more than one beneficiary or there is family drama, the provision and the will itself may try to be voided. If you wish to make one person both the executor and beneficiary, explore this option with your attorney (advisable to have a third party attorney who is not related to you and has no stake in your property to review the testimentary document). You may wish to explore a trust as a non-taxable, non-probatable alternative to a simple will.


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