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Chris died and named three co-executors.

The estate involves property but no complications, so informal probate seems viable.

For various reasons, the co-executors want one person to be named executor and another a successor executor, in case the first executor gets sick, dies, or whatever.

In the Utah state code, I found this:

Enacted by Chapter 150, 1975 General Session

75-3-609 Termination of appointment -- Death or disability.

The death of a personal representative or the appointment of a conservator for the estate of a personal representative, terminates his appointment. Until appointment and qualification of a successor or special representative to replace the deceased or protected representative, the representative of the estate of the deceased or protected personal representative, if any, has the duty to protect the estate possessed and being administered by his decedent or ward at the time his appointment terminates, has the power to perform acts necessary for protection, and shall account for and deliver the estate assets to a successor or special personal representative upon his appointment and qualification.

Question 1

It appears that the statute names the executor of the personal representative's estate as the "default" successor executor.

This is a situation we want to avoid. Instead, we want to have one of the initially named co-executors be ready to immediately step in.

Can this be done? Via a form? (I wasn't able to spot the one that might be of interest at this link:

http://www.utahprobate.com/uupcforms.htm

Question 2

Assume that the co-executors want to go that route after all, and still via informal probate? How is that handled? Do you just add all three names to UUPC Form 10 (Application to be a Personal Representative)?

  • The cited statute only says there is a duty and power to PROTECT the estate that was being administered, not that he or she may continue to administer it to final disposition. – Upnorth Sep 1 '17 at 5:05
  • Upnorth, thank you for redirecting my eyeballs. I must have read it six times before posting the question. I do see the nuance of what you are pointing out. – RJo Sep 1 '17 at 23:51
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Question 1

It appears that the statute names the executor of the personal representative's estate as the "default" successor executor.

This is a situation we want to avoid. Instead, we want to have one of the initially named co-executors be ready to immediately step in.

Can this be done? Via a form? (I wasn't able to spot the one that might be of interest at this link:

http://www.utahprobate.com/uupcforms.htm

Not really. The PR of the estate of the PR is merely obligated to act as a caretaker until a successor is appointed, if there is no co-PR to handle that task.

If there are three co-PRs, there is really no need to have a successor appointed. The two can continue to act where the three acted before.

But, if all PRs fail to act or have their positions terminate, then a new PR needs to be appointed by the Court because the Letters issued by the Court is the source of a PR's authority.

The language of the Will, and in the absence of language in the Will, the Probate Code, governs how successors are appointed. The fact that "the co-executors want one person to be named executor and another a successor executor, in case the first executor gets sick, dies, or whatever.", is immaterial. They don't get to make those rules. Often a Will permits co-executors to delegate their authority or authority over part of their job, to one person, however. Look in the boilerplate of the Will.

Question 2

Assume that the co-executors want to go that route after all, and still via informal probate? How is that handled? Do you just add all three names to UUPC Form 10 (Application to be a Personal Representative)?

Yes, co-executors can be appointed via informal probate by putting three names on Form 10, assuming that this is what the Will provides.

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