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Joint Personal Representatives


For various reasons, testators sometimes nominate joint personal representatives consisting of two or more people for their probate estates. For example, a testator might decide to select two of their children to be of service as joint personal representatives because they cannot choose between the two.

If you discovered that a deceased loved one nominated more than one executor, you might be asking yourself whether California probate law allows for the appointment of more than one personal representative? Yes, California probate law does allow two or more individuals nominated in a testator’s Will to serve as joint personal representatives.

Below is some crucial information for people nominated to serve as joint personal representatives in California.

California Probate Code Section 9630

According to California Probate Code Section 9630, in a situation where there are two personal representatives, both are required to agree in order to exercise power. On the other hand, where there are three or more personal representatives, a majority must concur in order to exercise authority.

Suppose one of the joint personal representatives dies, resigns, or is removed. In such a case, according to California Probate Code Section 9630, the duties and powers will continue in the remaining personal representatives as if they were the only representatives until the court makes further appointments.

According to California Probate Code Section 9630, where there are joint personal representatives, and one or more are;

  1. absent from California and unable to act in the capacity of a personal representative,
  2. otherwise unable to serve as a personal representative, or
  3. legally disqualified from serving,

by order made with or without notice, the court may authorize the remaining joint representatives to act as to all matters embraced within its order.

Lastly, according to California Probate Code Section 9630, where there are joint personal representatives, any of them may:

  1. oppose a petition made by one or more than one of the other personal representatives or another individual.
  2. petition the probate court to allow the representatives to take a particular action or directing the personal representatives not to act.

California Probate Code Section 9631

According to California Probate Code Section 9631, where there are joint personal representatives, one representative is not responsible for a breach of duty committed by another representative except if;

  1. the person participated in the acts committed by the other representative;
  2. the representative wrongly transfers the management of the decedent’s estate to the other personal representative;
  3. the negligence of a representative encourage or created room for the other representative to conduct the illegal acts;
  4. the personal representative knowingly acquiesces in, approves, or conceals the acts conducted by the other representative;
  5. the personal representative is in a position to prevent the other personal representative from committing the breach of duty but fails to do so.

California Probate Code Section 10805

According to California Probate Code Section 10805, if there are joint personal representatives, compensation shall be apportioned among them by the probate court as decided by the representatives or as per the services offered by each of the representatives.

Contact a California Probate Lawyer

If you need more information or help from a probate lawyer, contact the dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen -The Probate Guy- to schedule a telephonic consultation.


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I love being a probate attorney. I love helping people through a very difficult time in their lives with the probate process. My practice focuses solely on probate matters. My job is to complete the probate process as efficiently and painlessly for my clients as possible. I have found that paying the upfront costs of probate adds unneeded stress, so I will advance all of the fees and costs for the probate. No money is required to complete the probate. I will be reimbursed at the end of the case when you receive your inheritance. Call me NOW to discuss your case for free.

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