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All three siblings are listed as executors of a will. Who has the most power?

Houston, TX |

Three siblings are all listed as equal executors of a will. Can any of them file the will in probate court? Have access to checking & savings accounts? Or does it go by eldest first?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

Any can file, but all three should be appointed unless they waive their right to serve. There is no priority among the three, by age or otherwise, unless the will gives such a priority. Equal executors means what is says: it takes all three.

There is no legal relationship created or implied by the exchange of message on this website. All statements are not to be construed as legal advice but as general guidance. In all cases, an attorney should be retained to review the full circumstances and deliver advice consistent with the information learned.

Asker

Posted

Thanks David. What about access to Checking ans Savings accounts? Do they have to wait for the courts to probate to gain access if their name isn't on the account?

Posted

If the will names the three siblings as executors, they will have equal power. Whether they must act jointly or may act separately may be specified in the will. Under the Texas Estates Code, any one of the executors can act for all of them if the will does not specify how they shall act. To transfer title to real estate, all three must sign. The relative age of each executor does not determine relative authority.

It is generally not possible to address all contingencies in a brief answer. My answer is based on the facts as provided and on general legal principles that may not apply to your specific situation. As a result, my answer is necessarily preliminary and should not be relied on without consulting an attorney who can fully evaluate your circumstances. Nothing in this communication creates an attorney-client relationship.

Asker

Posted

Thanks Charles. What about access to Checking and Savings accounts? Do they have to wait for the courts to probate to gain access if their name isn't on the account?

Charles J. Smaistrla

Charles J. Smaistrla

Posted

Even though persons are named in a will as executors, they do not have any authority to act as executors until the will has been admitted to probate and the court appoints them as executors and the clerk issues them letters testamentary. Banks will ordinarily not recognize persons as executors until they present their letters testamentary.

Steven John Clausen

Steven John Clausen

Posted

A well drafted Will will state how many executors must act if action is to be taken. It should be noted that if the estate is a dependent administration court approval is required for most acts of the executors.

Posted

You really should hire an attorney to help with this, especially if there are multiple executors. Any of you can file to probate the will.

This answer DOES NOT establish an attorney-client relationship. This answer is based on the limited information provided and is not intended to be conclusive advice. There are likely other factors that might influence or change the advice after a more lengthy consultation.

Asker

Posted

Hi Maria. Both my mother and Aunt are on SS and my mother is in a nursing home and on hospice. Money for an attorney is not available. We contacted legal aid and they currently are not accepting any new cases. And Pro Bono seems to be non-existent. Just trying to see how much we can do on our own. We just found out yesterday that all three are listed as equal executors so my Aunt is going down to file the will and get things moving.

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