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Should I sign a Petition for Discharge as Executor for my uncle concerning my Grandfathers estate?

Blue Ridge, GA |

On 5/8/2012 I received a letter from a law firm asking me and my siblings to sign a petition discharging my uncle as executor of my grand fathers estate. I have never been notified as to what was included in the estate nor how it was dispersed. When I sign the petition I am stating that the estate has been fully administered. I don't think I can rightfully sign without knowing what was included in the estate and how it was dispersed. Am I correct?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. While you may have not been an heir, I wouldn't suggest signing until you at least looked at the will, which is a public record at the courthouse. If you're not an heir, signing probably does you no harm (but it doesn't help you either). If you were an heir, see a lawyer ASAP.

    - Glen Ashman - geaatl@msn.com - .................. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you. Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in this email is tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein.


  2. You probably CAN sign this without knowing more, but I do not think that you SHOULD. The probate file should be available for you to review. If you are going to receive a distribution, it would be odd for you to get this form without knowing anything about what has happened. If you are not supposed to receive anything, they may simply be asking you to sign off, indicating that you are not going to contest the Will or the administration. The reason they might seek this is if there is going to be a challenge, the executor would want to hold back assets to cover foreseeable expenses of defending the claims.

    I am only guessing, here. You should meet with an attorney to review this with, before deciding to sign anything.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


  3. You should ask for more information regarding the estate. You should also consult your own attorney. Something is very odd.

    This answer is not intended to provide you with specific legal advice regarding your situation, or to create any attorney-client relationship. The intent is only to provide general information. You should be aware that you cannot rely on this answer to provide you with any protection against tax penalties. You should always consult your own attorney in order to obtain legal advice.


  4. Only beneficiaries have to sign a petition for discharge. Therefore, you may be a beneficiary. I would seek legal counsel immediately.

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