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Probate Distribution Nerves....

San Diego, CA |

I have never inherited anything before so I am hoping for some insight.
I am executor, sole heir, no others listed on the will but me. California Probate court just granted me waive account/executor fee's and final distribution....but I am a honestly nervous about using this money to invest, pay off a graduate school loan.

Once the court grants distribution can the same/or any court ask for the money back at a later date? Or can some long lost relative submit a newly discovered will or contest and I have to give the money back? I asked my tax accountant this same question and he kindly told me to ask a probate attorney. So here I am...thank you.

Attorney Answers 5


With all of these concerns and your lack of knowledge, why have you not retained estate counsel. At this point you would be well served to do so to discuss these issues in more detail. No one at this forum can give you the comfort you seek or where you stand on these issues. I will tell you that if you have missed something or failed to give proper legal notice, in most states that can leave a window open for creditors. This is why estate attorneys are hired; to give security and certainty to this process. So now get with an estates attorney and hope that you did everything correctly.

Hope this helps.

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Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website is and his blog is

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is , his website is and his blog is <> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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Sometimes the best advice is to go get good advice. Like Mr. Fromm, I would encourage you to at least consult with a probate attorney near you. From the sound of things, you've done virtually all of the work, and odds are decent that you've navigated through the process correctly. It also sounds like you're starting to second-guess yourself, and what you really want is some security that "finished" actually means "finished." Probate orders, like any other legal judgment, initiate clocks during which another person must bring forward an appeal or some other request for the Court to correct an error. You could wait this period out on your own, or you could move forward knowing that everything is in order. It's worth a piece of your time and what would likely be a very small consultation fee (if any) to gain that security you want.

This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted to practice law in the State of Texas only, and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to Texas. This answer is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation, and is for promotional purposes only. You should never rely on this answer alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship.

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The other attorneys here give you sound advise. In all likelihood, once the court orders the distribution of the money to you, you will be able, as the sole beneificiary, to use the funds as you would like. If you filed the Probate in San Diego county, the Probate examiners, the judges and staff are very dilligent in making sure that all Probate procedures have been filed including notices given, publication, advising governmental agencies (where appropriate)and any other required documents, before approval is given. It really is a good idea for you to discuss this with a Probate attorney and to have the attorney review the documents for you.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss this further.

Disclaimer: The above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. My responses are intended to provide general information about the question posted. I am licensed to practice in the state of California. The information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for conferring with or hiring a competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your state.

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You did not indicate your relationship ... if sole named beneficiary/child - you can sleep well.

If Will was lawfully executed, by competent Decedent, and final order given, likely no problem.

Problems start when there is an "X" factor. I once had a Client, whose son died, she told me NO CHILDREN.

Nicest lady.

Turns out there's a son!? How could it be? Client said there was no "proof" that he was the son of her son (grandson). Problem - she met him on several occasions, and so had Decedent her son.

So if you noticed all people required to be given notice, and there is no "X Factor", and did all you were suppose to to (final tax returns for Decedent, paid known debts et al) and final Order given - then you are likely fine when Order granted. If X Factor - see an attorney.

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I agree with outher counsel here. It would serve you well to at least pay for a consultation with a probate lawyer to review the records and advise you of your rights.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

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