Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

My father-in -law has informed my husband that he is making his eldest son the executor of his will.

The family does not agree and will informed him this week(he askes if the siblings agree)

What is trhe best route to execute a will with a neutral party and a low fee-

Mu husband's parents are in their mid-80's and this 60 year old sibling has been living with his parents for 15 years- I can forsee if his father passes before his mother, this same son will be made POA to handle his mother's finances- Also a poor decision- What would be the best way to handle his mothers finances in this case should this scenario happen-Again, a neutral party-

Asked on 1/03/12, 2:56 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Miriam Jacobson Law Offices of Miriam N. Jacobson

People can appoint whoever they want to act on their behalf. This is true whether others agree or not.

If anyone, whether it is your husband or his siblings, pressures your father-in-law into any provision of a will or in creating a POA, those documents would be subject to challenge.

The parents should be consulting with their own attorney, without anyone else accompanying them into the meeting.


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Answered on 1/03/12, 6:58 am

It does not matter if the family "agrees." They have no say so in the matter and the father-in-law can appoint whomever he wishes if he is mentally competent to make a will. If he is not mentally competent that is a different matter and your father-in-law cannot make a will at all.

That said, the children can share their feelings with their father. However, no child has a right to inherit anything from the father. The father could easily make a will leaving all to a charity and not leave the children a dime. I agree that the parents need to speak to an estate planning lawyer on their own without their children present.

However, if the father has solicited input and the family feels that a neutral should be selected as personal representative, then the parents should either select a trusted friend or some other family member, or a bank or close family attorney if they have one. The same is true of a power of attorney for the mother.

However,if a bank or attorney is selected, then neither is cheap. They are going to charge a fee for their services.

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Answered on 1/03/12, 10:50 pm

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