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What is the order in which a Will is executed? Can the executor place conditions that are not in writing?iar

San Francisco, CA |

Can the executor pay off beneficiaries out of the ranking order?

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Attorney answers 4


It depends upon what you mean "ranking order" The executor is supposed to follow the terms of the will. If there are people who are entitled to priority payment such as creditors a person who gets a specific gift such as a sum of money, those will be paid first. If the beneficiaries are all residual beneficiaries, there is no order per say but the executor has the duty to treat them all impartially.


Do you mean, in what order does the executor carry out the terms of the will? In that case, practically speaking the executor will typically take care of tax and debt issues first and that can take awhile sometimes because creditors have a significant period of time to make claims. That's not to say that interim distributions to beneficiaries can't be made if there are ample funds. Also, the executor cannot put conditions on an inheritance that are not there, they have to follow the will - but there are certainly situations when the term's of a will allow the executor to refrain from making payments in certain situations.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:


The executor cannot place conditions, the executor has to follow what IS in writing.


The Will dictates how beneficiaries are paid, not the executor. Consult with a Probate Attorney concerning any issues you may have with executor's actions.

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