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IS AN EXECUTOR LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE TO LET THE HEIRS KNOW THE OUTCOME AND FINAL DISTRIBUTION OF A PARENTS ESTATE

Greensburg, PA |

I FOUND OUT THAT THE ESTATE WAS CLOSED BUT I CAN NOT GET A RESPONSE FROM THE EXECUTOR AS TO THE FINAL DISTRIBUTION OF MONEY THAT WAS IN THE ESTATE. I RECEIVED A PARTIAL DISTRIBUTION BUT NO FINAL DISTRIBUTION. I CANT GET AN ANSWER FROM THE EXECUTOR. WHAT CAN I DO ?

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

An estate can either be closed by court order after a formal accounting is presented to the court, or by a signed family settlement agreement that isn't necessarily filed with the court or Register of Wills. Either way, you should have been informed about what was going on. If the estate went through formal accounting, you should have received notice of that and an opportunity to review the formal accounting. If it was settled by agreement, your signature & approval of the informal accounting was necessary.

If you look at the court file, you may only see whether or not there was a formal accounting done.

As an heir, you do have a right to an accounting of what came into the estate and where it all went, and you can file a petition with the court to compel the executor to provide you with one. I recommend consulting with a local attorney and deciding on a course of action.

If my answer was helpful to you, I would appreciate if you would mark it either "helpful" or "best answer" if you feel that applies, as AVVO gives us rating points based on feedback. Thank you! Please note that the above answer is not to be construed as legal advice. It is my personal opinion based on your question, and it was given without obtaining the detailed information that I would normally request in order to render comprehensive legal advice. I advise you to consult with a local attorney of your choosing to obtain specific legal advice. The fact that I answered your question does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and me.

Posted

Not sure I would word the question the way you did but if the question is does an heir have a right to an accounting, including receipts, disbursements and distributions, then the answer is yes. You could check the probate file at the local Register of Wills (if its a PA estate). If you cannot get the answers you need that way (it is possible that a formal accounting is not on file) you may need to hire your own attorney to force the executor to file the accounting.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/

Posted

I agree with Attorney Zelinger. If you got a partial distribution, there should have been notification prior to the estate closing. It is possible that you did not get a final distribution because the estate did not have sufficient funds, but you are entitled to know this. Your remedies are to pull the court file and see if that addresses your question and if not, hire your own counsel to pursue this.

Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.

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