What rights does a sibling who waivedtheir appointment as executor, still have inan estate?

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What rights does a sibling who waivedtheir appointment as executor, still have inan estate?

My father didn’t have a Will and had about $6000 total in his checking and savings accounts. I found out that my half-brother, who hasn’t talked to my father in 28 years, signed a paper saying that he gave up all his rights to be executor of his estate. This then made me executor since I am the next of kin. I was wondering if, since he signed that paper, if he is still legally entitled to any of the remaining monies? And after I go through the process of getting a TIN  and putting my father’s money into an estate account, how long it would take until I can take the money that is left for myself?

Asked on December 3, 2010 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Who is an executor has *nothing* to do with who inherits what under a will or otherwise. The executor is primarily an administrative position, for which there is usually some compensation allowed. The executor cannot determine who does or does not receive from an estate; one does not need to be an executor to receive; and declining acting as an executor does not affect what one receives. Heirs will receive whatever portion of or assets from the estate the will (if any) indicates they should receive; and if there is no will, they receive the share determined by state law for "intestate succession": no more and no less. If there was a will and it said by its very terms that "my son shall not inherit if he does not act to administer my estate," that would be one thing; but absent language as specific as that in a valid will, your brother's decision does not affect whatever he would receive.


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