NSW How Should Executor of Will Handle Estate Between Beneficiaries?

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11 August 2016
A close family member of mine is the executor of will for his deceased mother-in-law's estate, and there is a bit of a moral dilemma about distributing "everything left in the house" (for want of correct terminology).

Relevant details:

- The will specifies that assets (house to be sold, and any money) be divided equally between X children and Y grandchildren who are issued of a pre-deceased child.

- My understanding is that the "everything left in the house" is the intestacy part since it is not specifically in the will, and therefore this all goes to the beneficiaries.

- The deceased's verbal wishes were that 'the children take what they like from the house'

- There are several other grandchildren who are not beneficiaries, and there is no spouse.

- The children have nominated specific items they would like, which were written down by their
mother before she passed away and they have been distributed already.

The dilemma:

There is one child who has openly stated that they will take anything that no-one else wants, which includes large items of furniture, possible antiques, etc. And has also said that they would not necessarily be for their own use (e.g. friend B could use that...). This child has also nominated several items for their own child (a non-beneficiary grandchild).

I think this might be more a moral question than a legal one, but how does the executor deal with this? Should the remainder of the household effects be sold and the proceeds divided evenly among the beneficiaries? If a non-beneficiary grandchild wants something, should they buy it from the estate?

Thanks in advance :)

Victoria S

Well-Known Member
9 April 2014
Yes, I agree; more of a moral issue, however in the case of the one child who just wants to sell all remaining items for profit, that should really be money that's going into the residuary of the estate to be disposed of as she has intended.