Can mom’s executor just give stuff away?


Q. Can my little brother, who is the executor of our mom’s will, give material things away to grandkids or others as he wishes before the estate sale? The estate is to be split three ways among us siblings, but he’s been giving away jewelry and furniture.
— Beneficiary

A. We’re sorry to hear about your mom.

It all depends on what your mom’s will says.

If the will directs the executor to sell all tangible property, then you are entitled to your share of the value of the tangible property that was given away, said Adam Sandler, an attorney with Einhorn Harris in Denville.

Alternatively, he said, the will may provide the executor with the discretion to distribute the tangible property in equal shares.

“In that case, you are still entitled to your `equal’ share in terms of value, but the executor has broad discretion to determine which items you receive,” he said. “My advice is to consult an attorney to analyze your mother’s will and determine any rights you may have as a beneficiary.”

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