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By: Scott Grossman on March 7th, 2018

What happens when Co Executors Disagree?

When a probate administration first begins, you may be relieved to learn that a co-executor was named in your loved one’s will to serve alongside you. The initial thought may be that you can share the duties and responsibilities that come with this important job. There is a definite downside to having co-executors, however. This downside comes into play when co-executors disagree relating to the estate administration.

Three Options for When Co Executors Disagree:

What happens when co-executors cannot agree on a decision relating to the estate administration? The following is an overview of three of the most common possibilities:

  1. One of the co-executors may opt to back down and agree to follow the wishes of the other executor. It is important, however, that the proposed action not violate any of the duties or obligations of the co-executors. The proposed action also must not cause harm to the estate, its assets, or the beneficiaries.
  2. The co-executors may need to follow the tie-breaking provision contained within the decedent’s will. In some cases, the will includes specific language as to how co-executors should handle a disagreement. This may include involving a named third party to serve as the tie-breaking vote for a decision.
  3. The co-executors may need to involve the probate court. This is true in situations where the co-executors have no other means for working out their disagreement and must request that the court decide as to how to proceed. Judges have the legal authority to do so. Typically, this will involve a hearing in which both executors will present their arguments to the judge. Following the hearing, the judge will issue an order in favor of one of the two executors. Both executors are obligated to comply with the court’s order.

Administering an estate is not an easy process, whether you are serving alone or alongside another executor. This is especially true when co-executors disagree. Fortunately, you do not have to handle it without assistance from an experienced legal professional.

If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form.  If you want a comprehensive overview of California Probate, then click here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, then you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.