I am administrator. The will states certain amount of money to one person and considerably more to the second heir. All heirs agree that person one should receive full amount even though there isn't quite enough to pay both 100 per cent, now that all bills are paid in full. I know statutes say to reduce each accordingly, in proportion, but if they agree on little tiny bit different split, I doubt the court would give a rip. So, can I just pay person one 100 percent, and person two 95 per cent, and have both sign the receipt with the "payment in full" box checked? Would that take care of it, or is another form required?
If the heirs are in agreement, I would suggest that you pay out according to the will/statutes and have the one heir gift whatever the amount that is different to the other heir or heirs. That way you comply with the law, the will, and the wishes of the beneficiaries. Note, that this should only be done if all parties are truly in agreement. It would be possible for one party to refuse to honor the arrangement.
The court will require that the terms of the will be followed exactly. Any adjustments need to be done after the probate distributions are made.
What you call a "little tiny bit" variation is what a court might call noncompliance. If you are administrator, you should do everything correctly. If everyone agrees to make adjustments after distributions are made, you could do things in that way. But it would be imprudent to simply assume that a court would be okay with making believe that the will says something other than what it says.
Good luck to you.
Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as rendering legal advice involves the ability of the attorney to ask appropriate questions of the person seeking such advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement. The purpose of this answer is to provide the questioner with general information, not to outline specific legal rights and remedies.
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