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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13752
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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If a will leaves money to a charity, can that money be used

Customer Question

If a will leaves money to a charity, can that money be used outside that charity to support another cause or another entity?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Mississippi
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: The will has been probated and the money is currently deposited in a bank account
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 10 months ago.

I want to make sure I'm understanding correctly -are you asking if the Will directs money to "Charity A" can the executor give the money to "Charity B" instead?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
or start a new non-profit business using that money or a portion of that money.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for clarifying and your patience.

While the executor's heart is surely in the right place, the answer is no - they have a statutory duty as set forth in the law to administer the Will as provided. Here is the code:

MS Code § 91-7-47 (2015)

(1) Every executor or administrator with the will annexed, who has qualified, shall have the right to the possession of all the personal estate of the deceased, unless otherwise directed in the will; and he shall take all proper steps to acquire possession of any part thereof that may be withheld from him, and shall manage the same for the best interest of those concerned, consistently with the will, and according to law. He shall have the proper appraisements made, return true and complete inventories except as otherwise provided by law, shall collect all debts due the estate as speedily as may be, pay all debts that may be due from it which are properly probated and registered, so far as the means in his hands will allow, shall settle his accounts as often as the law may require, pay all the legacies and bequests as far as the estate may be sufficient, and shall well and truly execute the will if the law permit. He shall also have a right to the possession of the real estate so far as may be necessary to execute the will, and may have proper remedy therefor.

(2) In addition to the rights and duties contained in this section, he shall also have those rights, powers and remedies as set forth in Section 91-9-9.

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Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 10 months ago.

Was there anything I could clarify for you or additional information you needed? If so, kindly REPLY and I'm happy to help further! If not, please kindly remember to leave a positive rating for me by clicking on the stars at the top of the page.

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