Los Angeles probate attorney advises about when co-executors have a dispute

When Co-Executors Fight…

When co-executors have been appointed to manage assets of the estate, it is very common that disputes arise which need to be handled.  Unfortunately, it frequently puts the Los Angeles probate attorney in a conflict, when a dispute arises and the lawyer represents both co-executors, it creates a conflict of interest for the lawyer and brings the estate to a halt. The lawyer is then forced to advise each of his/her co-executor clients to seek separate counsel.

This can happen when the co-executors are also beneficiaries.  It can also happen when the co-executors are just administering the estate.   Examples of disputes among co-executors are as follows:

  1.  Disputes about the sales price of the home.
  2.  Inventory disputes.
  3.  Rent collection disputes.
  4.  Reimbursement disputes.
  5.  Accounting Disputes.

What are some simple solutions to co-executor disputes?

Here are some of the things a co-executor can do to resolve the disputes with another co-executor:

  1.  Sit down and talk.
  2.  Go to mediation.
  3.  Have a neutral executor appointed, such as a professional fiduciary.
  4.  Agree to submit the matter for a Petition for Instructions to the court.
  5.  Agree to submit the disputed items to a probate arbitrator.

What really happens when co-executors fight?

When two co-executors fight, they cannot be represented by one lawyer.  Ultimately, each will have to seek separate probate lawyers which increases the inefficiency in managing the probate estate and the potential cost of litigation.    Selecting an informal tie-breaker before co-executors are appointed can help in managing and resolving potential disputes.  If you are a co-executor, we encourage you to sit together and come up with a plan on how to resolve any c-executor disputes.

If you are having trouble with another co-executor, call Mina Sirkin, probate attorney in Los Angeles who is a Board Certified Specialist helping people resolve probate disputes.  Call 818-340-4479 or Email.

Role of a Petition for Instructions in Los Angeles Probate

Petition for Instructions

When a Los Angeles probate executor or trustee of a trust is uncertain about an action, he or she files a petition for instructions in court to determine the best course of action.

There are many times where the executor cannot determine what the be course of action would be with respect to a certain issue.

Some examples of a matters which may require instructions are:

  1. Whether the trustee or executor should sell the house when there beneficiaries all do not get along.
  2. Another example may be instructions as to whether a beneficiary should be able to live in the decedent’s home during trust administration or probate administration.
  3.  Other times, the instructions sought may involve matters where the trustee or executor is also a beneficiary.   Where there is a potential for conflict, the trustee or executor can inform the court of the potential for conflict and ask whether he or she can act as to that matter

Function of a Petition for instructions

The function of the Petition for Instructions is several fold:

A.  The instruction by the court when followed by the trustee, relieves the trustee of liability with respect to that specific issue.

B.   The Petition for Instruction serves as a tool to bring beneficiaries to court and to give them notice of what the trustee or executor wants to do, so there is transparency in the actions  of the trustee or executor.

C.   The Petition is also used to create clarity for all fiduciaries and beneficiaries involved in the case as to the contents of the petition.

What to do when you receive a Petition for Instruction in the mail?

To find out what you should do if you have been served with a petition for instructions filed by a trustee or executor, call Mina Sirkin, Specialist in Trust and Probate in Los Angeles California at 818-340-4479 or Email: Info@SirkinLaw.com.   Find us at LosAngelesProbateLawyer.com.