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Mother -in-law passed away in April, my husbands sister is executor. Mother-in-laws condo sold. It's being disbursed to.

Blaine, MN |

his sister, himself and two other brothers. she asked the advice of a lawyer. He told her not
to disburse the funds until he sent a letter to each of them in case one would dispute it. She said that was not going to happen, but took his advice.funds now will be dispursed in a month instead. What was his purpose? My husband and I and the brothers are not
understanding the motive. Should there be concern over this?

Attorney Answers 4


As stated by the other attorneys, this is a very common practice and I would not be concerned. The reason why this is done is because, in the event of a dispute, your sister-in-law is entitled to use funds of the estate in order to defend her actions. If she has already paid all of the estate funds out, there is nothing for her to use and she needs to reach into her own pocket, thereby defeating the protection she was supposed to be entitled to. And yes, of course, she can petition the court to have the other beneficiaries return a pro rata share of the funds that, in that event, would have been prematurely distributed. But this is often difficult to collect.

The problem with seeking a waiver or release ahead of time is that it suggests to the interested parties that the executor may be concerned about having done something improperly. (Your concern is a reasonable response to this). There is no easy answer to this situation. Her lawyer has advised her to act cautiously, in order to protect herself, in case a claim is forthcoming. If you have no reason to otherwise suspect something was wrong, I would sign the waiver/release, or simply wait the 30 days for the disbursement.

James Frederick

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To be on the safe side, an executor would want to make sure all the beneficiaries agree to large transactions he or she makes on behalf of the estate. It's just being conservative. At this point I probably wouldn't worry much about it.

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If disputed, it is far more difficult to get the funds back and hold them until the matter can be resolved than it is to send a letter expressing the intention in the event ab objection is received. It is a standard precaution.

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As stated already, it's just a conservative precaution. It shouldn't be a big deal.

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