Asked in Estate Planning for Pennsylvania

Q: My grandfather died without a will. My mother is deceased. can his 4 granddaughters all be executors of his estate?

We are told there can only be 2 executors. The 4 of us want to co-execute his assets so that they are handled properly and fairly. Please advise.

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3 Lawyer Answers
John B. Whalen, Jr.
John B. Whalen, Jr.
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Wayne, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: … hello …

… that’s a tall order - all of you would have to agree - and nothing would be done if one did not …

… the institutions you will be dealing with also don’t want to deal with 4 people - it’s much to difficult …

… I would suggest that all if your consult an experienced probate attorney … there are things that can be done - please don’t make a difficult job harder …

John

Mark Scoblionko
Mark Scoblionko
Answered
  • Allentown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Where there is no Will, the fiduciaries are “Administrators.” “Executors”

exist only where there is a Will. As a practical matter, there is no difference between “Administrators” and “Executors.”

If your grandfather had other children who are living, they would have to renounce before you could be appointed. Similarly, if there are other grandchildren, they would have to renounce.

I am not familiar with a rule that limits the number of Administrators that can be appointed. If you call the Office of the Register of Wills of the county where your grandfather lived, someone I that office will give you the answer.

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Boyertown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: Perhaps a better, or at least additional idea, is to prepare a written "family agreement", with each of the heirs at law signing off, providing for how the estate should be administered, even as to specific assets, and then present that written agreement to the probate court.

Of course, it would be wise to use an experienced attorney to prepare the agreement and advise the administrators about their handling of the estate assets.

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