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Can a beneficiary take the executor to court to get money from estate?

Louisburg, NC |

My g-mother passed away in April, and my mother is the executor of the estate. There are 3 beneficiaries involved and so far, $50K/each has been paid from the estate to these three. Because the will stipulated that all the land and the house be sold and split 3 ways, the estate can not be closed out completely. One of the beneficiaries is saying he's going to take the executor to court to get the rest of his money. Can he do that? Funds have to be left in the account to pay taxes, etc. and until everything is sold. Right?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

Anyone can take you to court. Question is do they have a valid claim. From the facts you present, it sounds like everything is being correctly. Is this through a Will or Trust? If through a will, this should already be in the probate court. The beneficiary is welcome to make their case to the probate court. If this with a trust, then the powers the trustee has should be stipulated in the trust document. If you have any concerns with a trust, contact a local attorney and have them make sure all the administration is being done properly.

Any individual seeking legal advice for their own situation should retain their own legal counsel as this response provides information that is general in nature and not specific to any person's unique situation. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Advice given in this response cannot be used to eliminate penalties with the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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Posted

He can do whatever he wants to do, but from what you state this estate administration is being handled correctly.
By the way, I wonder whether this person would want to give back any funds that he forces to be paid, if they have to be paid back to the estate to cover taxes or debts or any other unforeseen expense? I bet not.
His position is a bunch of hooey.

Hope this helps.

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Posted

A beneficiary can go to court and make a claim if an executrix is acting improperly, but from what you are relaying, I don't think that the beneficiary who is threatening to take legal action will prevail. Probate is a long, drawn out procedure. If the will stated that the property had to be sold, then the estate can't be closed until this is accomplished. Given the economy home sales are a bit sluggish, so I don't believe the court will find that the executrix at fault. Funds do have to be left in the account to pay taxes and other costs. Patience is necessary in these situations.

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