How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Barrister Your Own Question
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 37830
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Barrister is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My mother passed away last june, she left her possesions and

Customer Question

my mother passed away last june, she left her possesions and stocks to my brother and I. Her CPA and executor of the trust passed away last month. He had transferred remaining stocks into his name as executor of her trust. I asked the attorney that originally drew up moms trust to take over, but im not that comfortable with what he is saying. We did have a successor executor- moms step brother. He does not live locally. The attorney is suggesting to us he will have the successor executor sign off as successor executor and wants to be appointed as successor executor. Isnt there a more simple way to finish the distribution of these remaining assets?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will do what I can to help...You mention an "executor" as well as a "trust".. These are terms that don't go together legally. An executor is in charge of a will, while a "trustee" is in charge of a trust. A will and a trust are two entirely different estate planning tools..So are we talking about a will or a trust, or both?.Would stepbrother be willing to take over the job of executor to settle the estate?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

my mother had a revocable trust. step brother is willing to let the atty that originally drew up the trust finish up. there is very little left to do regarding the trust. however what is left are stocks and worth quite a bit. Is it considered a conflict of interest for this atty to step in now? He will not be a successor trustee, just paper pusher, he needs to see her last income tax is filed (she lived until beginning of june) . You see original trustee was also my moms CPA for many years but sadly passed away.

Expert:  Barrister replied 2 years ago.
Is it considered a conflict of interest for this atty to step in now?.No, it wouldn't be a conflict of interest, but the attorney could only be paid for acting as an attorney or acting as a trustee, not both. But it is the trust that determines who steps in if a trustee dies or is incapacitated. So if the step brother didn't want to act, he would have to formally refuse in writing and give that to the beneficiaries. Then they could approach the probate court to have the judge appoint a new trustee to finish up the administration of the trust. .If you all agreed to allow the attorney to assume that role, then I am sure that the judge would go along with that an formally appoint him..But to answer your first question directly, no, there is not a simpler way to wind this up because only the legally appointed trustee has the power to adminster trust assets. If step brother doesn't want to do so, then another trustee has to be appointed by the probate court so they have the power to wrap things up and distribute assets...thanksBarrister..thanksBarrister