My mom is still alive and her will was made out in the 90's. She has my sister and brother as executors. Any suggestions? -

My mom is still alive and her will was made out in the 90's. She has my sister and brother as executors. Any suggestions?


I feel I should also be as an executor. My sister is very controlling & greedy. She has made remarks that she is the one who makes decisions on my mom's assets. She doesn't have a whole lot so there will be no need for probate. But I think it's unfair that I am left out. I don't know how to ask my mom to change this, it's her will. Please any suggestions greatly appreciated.



Deanna16, I think cwillie, freqflyer, geewiz, JoAnn29 and Countrymouse all made good points, e.g. that "the role of executor isn't divided well amongst 3 sibs." In my first answer I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that your mom's will names your sister as the executor and your brother as the successor executor and that you simply wanted to be named as the third-in-line successor executor -- mostly as a matter of feeling included. And now that I've re-read your question, I think my assumption probably was erroneous. Anyway, I think you've gotten some good advice and if there really are so few assets that there will be no need for probate, then it may be better for your mother, you and your siblings to sit down together to discuss who gets what and why, share some memories and have some fun with it. And then write it all down and have everybody sign it. That should be a lot more enjoyable than going through probate and less expensive, as well.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to bicycler

Deanna, your mother's estate will be minimal; and your brother and sister are joint executors; and as CW points out it doesn't matter how controlling your sister is she has no wriggle room here.

This is just pride, isn't it? Your mother "chose" your brother and sister and left you out. That hurts.

But it *doesn't matter*. She didn't leave you out of anything that's even slightly important. Forget it.

Is there some object that you're anxious to keep, by the way? Are you imagining your sister snaffling all of the salt-glazed Staffordshire dogs or something, and want to get your bid in? If there are items of particular sentimental value to you, speak up now; but restrict yourself to the very, very few things that can really have that much meaning.
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Reply to Countrymouse

There should be only one executor and that should be the one closest to parents if dependable. It could be written "In case of death" so so will take on executor. My parents picked the oldest girl, me, and the oldest son which turned out to be the best choices of the 4. But my brother lives in NC my parents and I in NJ. When Dad died Mom redid her will making me executor. There's a lot of responsibility that goes along with this. If both executors live in the same area, ok, but when they live miles apart it makes it hard to get things done and signed. Anvexecutor has to follow the Will. They are responsible for seeing where are the assets are. Selling of a house or car. Paying outstanding bills. Debts come first before beneficiaries. There are filings and paperwork for the state. Having 3 executors could cause a lot of problems. In my case, my brothers know they will be kept in the loop and get their share when probate is settled. Which depending on the estate could take a year or more.
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Reply to JoAnn29

"She doesn't have a whole lot so there will be no need for probate. "
If there are no assets to probate, what are your concerns?? Are there family memorabilia that you would like to receive? If so, ask your Mom outright for the items. "Mom, I've always admired that knick knack or your baking dishes bring me such happy memories, when you aren't using them any longer, I would really treasure it. Many times the person will say, take it now!
I have to be honest, the role of executor isn't divided well amongst 3 sibs. I think it is crazy to name more than one person . . . then again, you have to know your family to make that decision.
You don't mention your parent's health or ages. Would that give us a different perspective?
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Reply to geewiz

Deanna16, your Mom's Will is 18 to 25 years old, as it is time for her to update the Will. State laws do change over that time span.

My parent's Wills were older than dirt, but I used a therapeutic fib to get my parents to go to an "Elder Law Attorney" to update their Wills.... I told my Dad that his Will is too out of date and that the State would get half of his assets. Dad's ears perked up and he had me set up an appointment with the Attorney.

Depending on your State, if your Mom has a lot of assets, then the Will will go into Probate Court for the Judge to over see the Will.
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Reply to freqflyer

It doesn't matter if she is controlling and greedy and you don't get along with her, as executor she must follow to the letter the legal instructions as they are written in the will. Choosing an executor isn't about treating your children equally it is about picking one who is competent to get the job done, there is no glory in being an executor and handling the estate, in fact many of our posters on the forum have told us it is an onerous duty they sometimes wish had fallen to someone else.
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Reply to cwillie

Deanna16, if your mom is still legally competent to change her will, you could explain your feelings to her and simply ask her to include you as an executor. But I think you haven't given enough background information for readers to give informed advice. In trying to read between the lines, there may be some past family dynamics involved that such a discussion with your mom may or not help resolve. Life is complicated and unfairness is relative -- whom is listed as executor in a will may not be worth losing sleep.

My experience may or may not help console you: My mom and dad listed me as their executor long ago, but after my mom died and my father developed dementia, three of my seven siblings, unbeknownst to me, took my dad to a bit of a shadowy attorney and had a trust and a new will created and named one sibling as both immediate trustee and future executor. All of this was a waste of my dad's pretty limited resources and resulted in me having to petition the court to become his guardian and conservator a couple of years after I moved him into my home (at my trustee sister's request before I knew about the trust) to enable me to ensure that he would continue to get the best care. Still, I don't know if anything done by any of us was "unfair" and maybe it's just the unfortunate way things are due to misunderstandings of the value of trusts in California vs. Utah and/or for simple estates. Adding to the misunderstandings was the lack of direct and honest communication among siblings, some of whom profess that my dad was competent to establish a trust, while I'm certain he was not (I had telephoned him almost every day after my mom died, visited him often, and brought him to my home several times).

As I said, life is complicated and unfair. Sometimes it's best to let go of some of the less important stuff -- I'm still trying.
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Reply to bicycler