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What does "non pro-rata distribution" mean? It is mentioned in my father's will as a power of the Personal Representative.

Sarasota, FL |

My father's will includes the following power for the Personal Representative: "To make any distribution or division of my estate in cash or in kind or both; to make distribution of my estate non-prorata among the beneficiaries" The estate is to be divided equally among several children, some more cooperative than others. Does the "non pro-rata" mean the PR can alter who gets how much of the estate? Can the PR assign the many costs (taxes, attorneys, etc) to some children but not others?

Attorney Answers 3


Non-pro rata means that beneficiaries don't take equally. The provisions you have provided don't provide enough information to confirm what the testator intends. It may be that the will designates specific devises in other provisions and it was not the testator's intent to divide the estate equally. For example, if he gave one child a 2 acre property, another child a condo, and another child his favorite watch, the will determines what each beneficiary gets but the inheritances are non prorata.

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Thank you Marva. But what does this mean as applies to the personal representative? Can he distribute the family fortune any way he wishes? What about the contents of the house?

Marva Lynn Wiley

Marva Lynn Wiley


A personal representative's role is to do what the testator directed. I can't imagine that a document that purports to be a will would give a personal representative discretion in terms of share. The purpose of the will is to create the shares. If the will does appear that loose, the court would probably invalidate it as a will and go with an intestate distribution because the court cannot discern the testator's intent from that kind of language. You should get a consultation from an attorney who can read the will in its entirety and give you a more informed answer.


If this is already in the probate process, please consult with the estate attorney to advise you.

In general, this provision is to allow the Personal Representative discretion to distribute the assets of the estate in some other manner than proportional shares of each asset. In other words, if there are six children, it is not necessary to give each child one-sixth of each asset - they can receive non-pro rata shares, so long as the ultimate value of the total shares is equal.

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rather than % of each and every asset to each beneficiary, PR can pick and choose assets going to each based on values ..

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