Certainly not. The Executor of a Will has a legal, fiduciary duty to distribute the assets specifically as directed within the Last Will and Testament document.
If an Executor fails to follow the Will’s instructions, a petition may be made to the Probate Court.
Typically, a well-written Will has a ‘remainder’ clause that distributes all assets not specifically gifted to a named beneficiary.
If such a remainder clause does not exist in the Will, the Probate Court will typically direct the distribution per state law.
No, claims to newly found assets should not be made unilaterally, even after the close of a probate case for a specific Will. Continue reading Can Any Relative Keep an Asset Found After the Close of Probate on a Will?
It is the responsibility of the Executor to detail the inventory and distribution of all assets and expenses of an estate after the death of the Maker of the Will, and to follow the instructions for distribution of those assets as listed in the Will. Continue reading Does a Beneficary of a Will have the Right to Full Disclosure of All the Deceased’s Possessions?
In most states, a Probate Estate would need to be opened so that the probate court could issue an order transferring title to the sole beneficiaries’ name.
Most states have an expedited or summary process if the assets to be probated are limited.
A close examination of the specific language of the Will, as well as the type of property being made as bequests through the Will, is required to determine distribution. Continue reading If Specific Dollar Amounts Are Listed for Distribution in a Will But the Estate Has Lower Value, How are the Assets Distributed?
In most cases, money held in a joint bank account is owned equally by the parties whose names appear on the account.
Upon the death of one account holder, the surviving account holder is the sole owner of the money in the account.
Such jointly held money is not typically considered a part of the decedent’s estate.
No. Only the Maker of a Last Will and Testament can sign the Will document.
No person can be authorized via Power of Attorney to create and sign a Will on behalf of the Grantor of the POA.
In most cases, state law dictates what fees (if any) can be charged by an Executor of a Last Will and Testament. Continue reading Can an Last Will’s Executor Charge a Fee to the Estate for Services?
Typically, if no Last Will and Testament exists to distribute specific assets to specific beneficiaries, the spouse of the deceased retains all marital assets — even if that spouse is a second marriage (or more). Continue reading If My Mother Dies Without a Last Will, Does My Stepfather Get Everything?