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Can lawyer who prepared codicil name himself executor and /or trustee?

Boca Raton, FL |

My husband's parents are deceased. They had wills prepared,and later had another lawyer prepare codicils. My husband was named executor in the original wills. However, when this lawyer did the codicils, he named himself as executor and trustee. Is this allowed, in the state of Florida and how can we reverse this?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. it is possible for an attorney to do this in many states hopefully based on the maker's wishes and the particular facts of the case. You can challenge such appointment but it becomes a facts and circumstances matter and you have not really provided much in this regard. In any event you are going to have to retain an estates attorney in your area to get advice and strategies as to how to proceed.

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    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


  2. Many times attorneys are named as Executors of a person's will, there is nothing inherently nefarious or bad about it. Often times when people who have made a will make changes to appoint someone other than a child as an executor, they have a specific reason. I suspect that you want to claim your husband's parents named an independent third party as an executor because of bad actions, or duress by the attorney who drafted the codicil.

    If that's the case, you do need to hire an attorney and fight it. Be advised that the attorney you hired is going to need to get paid, as well as the attorney that the Executor of the Estate will have to hire to defend the estate.

    Will contests are often very expensive and the monies paid to the attornies are often charged off against the estate.

    The information provided is based solely on the general information given and should not be construed as legal advice for your specific situation.


  3. If your husband's parents signed off on the codicils it becomes their choice. Ultimately it is the Court's decision who to appoint. You can certainly challenge the attorney being appointed as Personal Representative. There are no executors in Florida. If the attorney is also a Trustee under a testamentary trust you can challenge that too. The fact that the prior will said something different will not be sufficient grounds to challenge it. I suggest you hire a competent probate attorney to get proper advice after reviewing all papers.

    The answers given are limited to the facts as given and presumed by the answer itself. Without seeing actual written documentation or having a conference to more fully explore the issues, this short answer has only limited application. Make sure to seek legal counsel and provide all documentation to get assistance in making informed legal choices. Bstein@dcfsz.com, 305 377 1505


  4. Mr. Stein is correct. The court will ultimately appoint the Personal Representative and any party having an interest in the Estate may apply for appointment. In this case, the court will consider the intent of your husband's parents in executing the codicils. Was there an existing attorney-client relationship with the attorney who named himself as personal representative? Is there a reason to believe that he should not serve? In determining whether there is a reason to not have him serve, you may also want to consider the size of the Estate since a personal representative is entitled to compensation under Florida law for their service. Lastly, will this attorney be used to handle the probate of the Estate? If so, perhaps the fee for his services can be negotiated to include both capacities.

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