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When co-executors disagree, how is the issue resolved? (California)

San Mateo, CA |

Deceased appointed brother and sister as co-executors. It's been contentious. Now brother wants to be compensated for food purchased for the deceased over the last five years (about $5,000). He has receipts. Sister does not dispute purchases, but wants to be compensated for time she spent caretaking for the deeased. She does not have receipts since no transactions took place, only the gift of her time. Brother disagrees. How can this be resolved and what is a likely outcome?

Attorney Answers 2


Your brother's purchases of food before your mother died will probably be considered gifts and he will not be entitled to compensation by the estate. Likewise, you should not be compensated as a caregiver if you did not have a contract or something in writing from the deceased indicating you had an expectation of payment for your services. You should just administer this estate, and distribute the assets. Otherwise, you will have to have the court system figure it out for you at substantial cost.

Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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They should each get the same amount or neither should get anything. They will spend more going to court and create more bad will than the money is worth. If they cannot agree they should choose a neutral third party to decide.

The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is licensed to practice law only in the State of California. Responses are based solely on California law unless stated otherwise.

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