What powers does a person have that is a power of attorney and executor of a will have?

My brother is the sole power of attorney and executor of my fathers will. There are four us. Me, my other two brothers and my oldest brother. It says in the will that when my father passes away that everything is to be split up four ways between us. Does my oldest brother have to abide by that or can he do anything he wants to do being that he’s in control of the will? We’re afraid he’s going screw us over somehow being thats the way he’s always been with us.

2 Responses to “What powers does a person have that is a power of attorney and executor of a will have?”

  1. WRG  on July 17th, 2012

    He will have to abide by the will. He will also have to make sure that all debts of the estate are paid for before the property is split between you. He will have to give a full accounting of the debts paid and property of the estate.

    If the estate is large what he will mainly do is choose the lawyer that actually handles all this and sign some papers.

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  2. Bash Limpbutt's Oozing Cyst©  on July 17th, 2012

    Any Power of Attorney that your father granted to your brother died with your father. Any attempt to act in your father’s name using that dead P of A is a crime if the Attorney in Fact knows that he is deceased.

    The estate will go to probate and the courts will ensure that the executor abides by the terms of any will. Normally the courts abide by the terms of the will and appoint the named individual as executor but anyone can challenge that. The executor must prove to the court that all debts of the estate have been paid, all tax returns have been filed and any taxes have been paid, the IRS and state have released the remaining assets of the estate for distribution, and that all distributions of any remaining assets were in accordance with the decedent’s will.

    Being named as executor in a will is only a request that that individual be appointed as executor. If anyone can show cause as to why that person should not be appointed the judge can appoint someone else. Normally that will be some disinterested 3rd party such as an attorney or the trust officer at a local bank if the various family members are squabbling over who should be appointed.
    Keep in mind that that won’t be free. Costs of settling an estate can rise dramatically if an outsider is named as executor. Attorneys don’t work for free!

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