View Full Version : A bit of Will advice

02-14-2008, 08:44 AM
For those that are writing or have written their wills I've got a bit of advice about executors.

Even though you may think that it is being fair to have two people be co-executors on a will, it is not. It is not fair to any of the involved parties. A will is better serverd have a single executor.

And conversly if any of you get asked to be an executor on a will you might as well just run and if you get asked to be a co-executor you need to run like the hounds of hell are on your tail.


02-14-2008, 09:06 AM
My mother wisely had her lawyer be executor. He knew his way through the legal maze and had a staff to help. In this state the lawyer is entitled to be compensated a % of the estate. The bill might have been a tad high considering the relative simplicity of my mother's estate, but now that I've seen all the mess he had to go through and all the papers he had to file, I don't begrudge him at all.

My mother handled her end of life decisions very wisely to remove as much of the burden as possible from my sister and me. Having a lawyer as executer was by far the wisest move she could have made.

Joe (SoCal)
02-14-2008, 09:13 AM
Oh man I thought this thread was about Wii advice, I've been playing video games too much :D

Edited to add; Oh sorry for light hearted comment on an otherwise serious thread

02-14-2008, 09:16 AM
My brother, very wisely, named a good friend there on the ground as his. His estate was pretty simple, but I'm amazed how much time she's had to put in. I need to do something nice for her when it probates.

Need to get a will myself. Been putting it off, but if you die intestate the government decides where your treasure goes, and I don't want the evil sister in law getting her mitts on mine. LOL.

Think about it before agreeing to be someone's executor. It's a big responsiblity, and more work than it looks like on the surface. I'd do it for a dear friend, or a sibling, but I'm just ask glad Bill didn't ask.

Ian McColgin
02-14-2008, 09:20 AM
Most correctly drawn wills provide compensation for the executor/-trix. Even if not explicit, most probate jurisdictions have a scale.

02-14-2008, 09:42 AM
I think Ann got a flat rate stipend in Michigan, maybe $1200? But anyway, she's done great with it, and has put in a lot more time than that compensates for. I believe she still has some cash in the executor's account, and I remind her, whenever I talk to her, to take any expenses out of it. Running back and forth to the mainland, for example, ain't cheap, and she should get those expenses paid for. I've tried to pick up the slack whenever I could, but there's only a certain number of things you can do if you aren't the executor. Reminds me, I need to call Douglas Coffin the stone carver and see how Bill's headstone is coming along, and contact the sexton of the graveyard and make shipping arrangements. Dying involves a seemingly endless stream of details these days.

Bill had a few oz. gold coins in his safe deposit box, and I'm thinking of making a present of one of those. Both she and her husband, who was Bill's health-care proxy, have done sterling service. They loved Bill, and would have done it for nothing, but it's good to recognize the thought and work that went into it, is still going into it.

02-14-2008, 05:23 PM
The issue I'm having is one doing things without informing the other or asking his opinion. He is trying to do the right thing but doing it the wrong way and causeing problems. If he would just ask the other party (me to exact) a lot of issues wouldn't be issues.

For example cashing the annuity after the first of the year when we agreeded to do it in Dec and having them withold 10% and thus causing the estate to be held open till taxes can be filled at the end of next year.

That kinda crap.


02-14-2008, 05:47 PM
I don't know what exactly is going on, Chad, but if you don't like the executor and what he's doing, find a new one. You oughta have your last wishes honored well.

Nicholas Scheuer
02-14-2008, 06:03 PM
Agree 100%

I am ("was", since the work is done) executor of my Father's will. He had stuff pretty well organized, but still, it's a chore. I can see why in a less organized or messier situation, you said "RUN".

I didn't take anything out oif the estate to compensate for the work. Some people said I should have.

Moby Nick

02-14-2008, 08:46 PM
My sister was the executor of the estate when my mom died several years ago. Of the two of us it had to be her, since Virginia law requires the executor to be a resident. Things were pretty well in order, and she used the same attorney that had taken care of my parents' stuff for years. Even so there was still a lot of work that had to be done. At the end, the only thing left was to sell the house and that took almost 2 years. We held back enough cash to cover the house expenses for about 2 years, so when the house sold there was a little left in the bank account which she kept. This was discussed between us and I had no issue with it, since the "standard" executor's fee can be as high as 10% and this didn't even come close. Probably barely covered the gas and wear and tear on her car for the trips to take care of stuff.

Good luck Chad.