What to do if my brother and sister are named in our mom’s Will as co-executors. but they had no contact with her for the last 4 1/2 years of her life?

UPDATED: May 29, 2013

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What to do if my brother and sister are named in our mom’s Will as co-executors. but they had no contact with her for the last 4 1/2 years of her life?

I cared for Mom 24/7. The state says that there is 6 months to file the Will for probate or small estate administration. Mom’s estate will be small estate. However, my sibs did not petition to do anything with the estate. I previously filed the Will for safekeeping with the court (well before the 6 months). The court has not appointed them executors. What are my options to get something done? Do I need to file with the court and ask to be named executor? There is also a trust. My brother is successor trustee but has refused to take any action and also has not responded to communication.

Asked on May 29, 2013 under Estate Planning, Kansas


Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You can petition the court to be named executor. Your petition will be looked on more favorably if you can get your brother and sister to consent to you being named as executor.

Also, in California, a small estate (less than $150,000) petition does not have to be made by the executor (although it requires the executor's consent, if the court has named an executor). So, you may be able to proceed that way as well. Of course, you will have to give notice of this proceeding to your siblings and any other heirs.

The trust is more difficult. As a beneficiary, you can demand an accounting. And if you can show that the trustee is not doing an adequate job, you can petition a court to appoint a new trustee, but this can be expensive and time consuming. 

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