exercise of powers by trustees

Powers When Multiple Executors or Trustees are Named

When people establish wills or trusts, they often want to designate more than one executor or more than one trustee. This video describes what it takes to exercise powers when multiple executors or trustees are named in Louisiana. Note that each state can be different so check with an attorney in your state to guide you through these matters.

Most people are not aware that the Louisiana Succession procedure (regarding executors) and the Louisiana Trust Code (regarding trustees) have different provisions and different applications.

Here are three rules you should be aware of when considering naming more than one executor or co-trustee:

(1) Executors. Louisiana Succession law provides that when there are several executors named, all action by them shall be taken jointly. Provisions in the will can alter this rule.

(2) Two trustees named. If there are two trustees of a trust named, the powers conferred upon them shall be exercised only by both of them. The trust instrument or a court could alter these default provisions.

(3) Three+ Trustees. A power conferred in three or more trustees may be exercised by a majority of the trustees, unless the trust instrument provides otherwise.

So, when three executors are named in a will, action by them shall be taken jointly. But if three trustees are named in a trust, actions by them may be taken by a majority.

I do not know why there is this distinction and difference between our Louisiana Succession law and our Louisiana Trust Code, but you should fully understand these differences when you are working with an attorney to prepare your will or trust, and you are naming more than one person to be in charge when you die. Many parents do not want to show favoritism toward just one child, so they designate all of their children to fill these roles.

This post is for informational purposes only and does not provide legal advice. Please do not act or refrain from acting based on anything you read on this site. Using this site or communicating with Rabalais Estate Planning, LLC, through this site does not form an attorney/client relationship.

Paul Rabalais
Louisiana Estate Planning Attorney
Phone: (225) 329-2450