Can an Executor Benefit From a Will?
Every will claim expert has been asked, “Can an executor benefit from a will?” This is a question that pops up time and time again when it comes to contesting wills and the legality of who can and who cannot inherit. An executor may wear many “hats” in their role of handling the final wishes of a testator – and here we take a closer look at how their inheritance may play into this.
What is the role of an executor?
It may seem like a straightforward question when initially asked, but the role and responsibilities of an executor can make their own potential benefit from a will more complicated than you may expect. We should first explore the role of the executor. They are the party who must carry out the final wishes of the testator, which includes handling their estate after they pass away, ensuring any bills are settled, and distributing the remaining funds, possessions and property appropriately.
Can an executor benefit from a will?
In actuality, the executor is quite often also the main beneficiary. This is because, in most cases, they are a child, spouse, close relative, or close personal acquaintance of the testator. In such cases, they may or may not be the only beneficiary, but they often inherit the lion’s share of an estate. On the other hand, there is no rule that says an executor must inherit – and they may find that they are not a beneficiary at all.
What could prevent an executor from benefiting?
While an executor often benefits from a will, there are some cases when this can be called into dispute, and leave questions such as when can an executor benefit from a will and when should they not? For example, executors and beneficiaries should not act as witnesses of a will being signed, as this will lead to them being disinherited. This is to prevent situations where coercion may happen – witnesses should always be non-partisan.
Can an executor turn down their role?
Executors are not always told ahead of time that they will be taking on this role, and if they are not benefiting from the estate in question, they may choose to turn down this responsibility. It is always wise to make it clear who is executing an estate and who is inheriting from it ahead of time, in order to reduce the chances of conflicts arising.
If you are the executor of a will and want to know more about your role if a will is contested, or you wish to contest a will and dispute an executor’s inheritance, then get in touch with Will Claim. We are experts in advising you on whether or not you are likely to have a valid claim, and we have helped many clients in England and Wales with issues regarding contesting wills. Get in touch with us for a free claim assessment, and get the full benefit from our expertise today.