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  1. #1
    DTanner4PS688y is offline Junior Member
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    Dispute between co-executors

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Pennsylvania

    If the heirs/co-executors of an estate fall into dispute and try to get each other removed from executorship, does the court typically turn over executorship to a third party or chose one of them to be sole executor?
  2. #2
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Unless there is a breach of fiduciary duties by an executor, the court will tell the heirs to pound sand and might give them sanctions for malicious prosecution.

    The executors are in charge. The heirs have no say in what the executors decide, although a prudent executor tries to keep heirs happy as it tends to reduce litigation.

    So, what did the executors do wrong?
  3. #3
    DTanner4PS688y is offline Junior Member
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    Heirs = Co-Executors

    The heirs and co-executors are actually the same people, though one of them served as guardian of the estate while the father was incapacitated prior to his death.

    The will names them all as co-executors. But disputes about how to manage the estate (basically, a house) and old rivalries have prevented anything from moving forward. One of them is going to try to be named sole executor to get things moving, though another is going to try to get him thrown out as executor for alleged misdeeds committed while guardian--basically, allegedly invalid expense claims and incomplete bookkeeping.
  4. #4
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    I'd put my money on a third party.

    Have they already blown the discount for payment of the PA Inheritance Tax due to all the bickering?
  5. #5
    DTanner4PS688y is offline Junior Member
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    What is the discount and how quickly does the tax have to be paid to get it?
  6. #6
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    Is there an executor yet? Not mentioned in the will, but appointed by the court?

    If not, sure, the court may appoint a third party. That person will make a ton of money.
  7. #7
    anteater is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DTanner4PS688y View Post
    What is the discount and how quickly does the tax have to be paid to get it?
    If all the transferees are lineal descendants, the tax rate is 4.5%. Due 9 months after the date of death.

    For any amount paid (even a partial amount) within 3 months of the date of death, the discount is 5%.

    One of them is going to try to be named sole executor to get things moving...
    I will add... Since the will nominates co-executors, the court will want to see waivers from the others. When the others refuse and there is a "Gunfight at the OK Corral" in front of the judge, the judge likely will tell the court clerk, "Give Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe a call. They need the business."
  8. #8
    DTanner4PS688y is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like it will likely go as badly (expensively) as I feared.
  9. #9
    DTanner4PS688y is offline Junior Member
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    One more question...

    ...Is it possible that a court would rule that a majority of co-executors could make major decisions about how to handle the estate? Or will it always have to be unanimous (or just one executor)?
  10. #10
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    If you actually look at the probate code, it already provides for that. The problem is none of you have a clue as to what you want. You keep asking questions, but you don't understand the reality of the situation.

    Pretend this. A, B and C are the heirs and all are executors as well. There is a house that A and B want to sell, but C wants to keep. A & B vote for selling the house and C votes against. If you read the probate code, you find the majority would rule and the other must assist (with help from the court if necessary).

    Whew! Glad that's done!

    Now, C sues A and B for the sale being a breach of their fiduciary duties. (Or, "defends" the will during the argument.) While A & B can force the sale, it does not absolve them from personal liability if the sale was a breach of their fiduciary duties.

    Party on. Now, you will all have to get together and put on your big boy pants and choose one who will mange the estate, or get ready to be in litigation for years and/or get a professional to manage it.
  11. #11
    engineerbabe is offline Junior Member
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    How much is a ton?

    Quote Originally Posted by tranquility View Post
    Is there an executor yet? Not mentioned in the will, but appointed by the court?

    If not, sure, the court may appoint a third party. That person will make a ton of money.
    That's what I am afraid of. But how much is a ton? A reasonably priced third party might be well worth it.

    Will the court-appointed third party be able to charge more than the 3 percent or so that I've heard most professionals charge for this sort of thing?

    Would the third party be able to charge an hourly rate, and run up a lot of hours in the sale of the house, etc.? Or would the court likely limit him/her/them to 3 percent, or some other semi-reasonable rate?

    And, could we suggest our own third party to the judge?
  12. #12
    tranquility is offline Senior Member
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    You can suggest whatever you want, but if the court feels you are going to fight over this it will appoint a professional third party. It's not just the statutory amount paid which is the problem it is the time line and the expenses and all the other problems when someone who has no reason to keep costs down or make heirs happy and has every reason to extend the resolution of the estate. You can't put a number on it, but, you have no idea of how much of a jerk a third party can be as long as they don't breach their fiduciary duties.

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