Funny execution of will

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  #1  
Old 04-15-11, 08:01 AM
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Funny execution of will

Both my parents died in a car wreck in july, 2010. My three siblings are co-executors of the estate and trust. My parents each left me $5000.
The estate lawyer recently sent me a letter saying that even though the administration of the estate has not been completed, it has been determined that distribution can be made to me at this time.
All I have to do is sign and return the receipt and release form to them.
A couple of things puzzle me here. For one, what could be left to do with the estate? And more importantly, why do I need to sign a release indemnifying my siblings from anything that might come about as a result of their administration of the will?
The money is mine. My parents gave it to me. There is nothing in their instructions requiring me to sign anything. The attorney will get the cancelled check so there is his receipt. And I'm not releasing anyone from anything to get what my parents left to me.
I'm thinking there is some sort of action pending that they don't want me involved in. They want nothing better than to have me out of the picture before it is all settled.
Is it even legal for an attorney to require me to sign a release in order to get what is already mine?
 
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  #2  
Old 04-15-11, 12:36 PM
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For "their" attorney, you betcha! It's his job. Now, what does your attorney say? What does the probate court have to say?
 
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Old 04-16-11, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
For "their" attorney, you betcha! It's his job. Now, what does your attorney say? What does the probate court have to say?

Ok, I'll concede it is his job to save his client money and try to protect them. It is a bluff, though, is it not? Surely I cannot be forced to sign a release to get what is already mine.
I don't have an attorney at this time. I believe that is going to change come Monday. I have no idea what the probate court says. I've been kept out of the loop. I believe I am going to call the estate attorney and tell him I am coming to his office to pick up the check but I have no intention of signing any release. I will sign a receipt.
There aren't any conditions placed on the money in the will and I am refusing to allow him to do so.
 
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Old 04-16-11, 08:01 AM
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As far as I know, the estate goes into an estate account, all creditors are paid first, and after probate's finished (about a year more or less) whatever is left goes to the beneficiaries.
So no, you shouldn't be getting a check first and signing a release. The release probably says you're accepting this as your part, and giving up claim to anything else that might still be left. I would not sign anything.
You shouldn't have to hire your own lawyer but you might have to. You might want to petition the probate court to check into this lawyer and appoint someone else. Not sure how you go about all this, but if you call them (here it's the Register of Wills, but not sure about MD) they're very helpful.
 
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Old 04-17-11, 03:51 PM
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I guess I'd better give you the rest of the story but I'll try not to make it too long.
My two sisters and one brother are coexecutors of the estate. I don't like or care for them and the feeling is mutual on their part. I haven't seen or talked to them in 15 or 20 years and hope I can go another 15 or 20 years without seeing them.
Before I forget, I made copies of the documents for anyone to see. I edited out names and such.

The receipt is actually two agreements one being just a receipt for the money and the other is indemnification. I interpret the indemnification to mean I also give up any further claim to monies acquired by the estate through any legal actions on behalf of my parents.
One of the pictures is a letter I was prepared to send the lawyer but I'll wait until I've done more research and/or talked to an attorney. I hope the link to the pictures works.https://picasaweb.google.com/andrewp...eat=directlink
 
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Old 04-17-11, 04:25 PM
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Here's one thing that hasn't been mentioned. If the wording of the will says you were left $10K with the rest to be divided among the others...well, thats pretty much it.

Of course that's assuming the will is legal and not contested or anything.

Looking at your images, it appears that your parents decided that the amount they wanted you to have from the Trust (not a will as such I don't believe) was $10K only. My parents did much the same with my step-brother, who had been estranged from the entire family for quite a while, except it was 0 anything, and they didn't have much left at the end.

Sorry, I wouldn't even respond w/o having another lawyer (preferably from another city) take a look at everything. $200-300 well spent IMO.

I also have an issue with the wording and grammar of the letter they sent..."in the enclosed a self-addressed stamped envelope" and "a check...will be cut"? Doesn't seem legalese enough to me?
 
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Old 04-17-11, 05:36 PM
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Vic's right about the grammar being wrong. It doesn't sound like a letter typed in a lawyer's office. I also don't understand the comment about this being a usual custom to send a check in advance. That's not a usual custom, even if the will states you should get only so much.
It's possible, they're trying to put one over on you. I don't think I'd sign this release form.
 
  #8  
Old 04-17-11, 07:40 PM
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That is what got my attention. They went out of their way to make a special point that this is all very normal. No cause for alarm. Whenever anyone goes to that length to assure me, it makes me suspicious.
My ex-wife inherited $250k and the only thing she had to sign was the check. I have to sign a receipt AND a release? Someone is being very, very careful. I'm calling a lawyer Monday morning to see what he thinks.
I was feeling a little stupid for reacting this way so I appreciate the comments.
 
  #9  
Old 04-17-11, 09:51 PM
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I have a copy of the will around here somewhere. I'll post it in a while as soon as I get a project I am working on done.
 
  #10  
Old 04-18-11, 02:29 AM
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Like the others said, see an attorney. As for an early distribution, it can be done here in MN. I was personal representative for my uncle about 5 years ago. One of the beneficiaries who was to receive money from his estate really needed money sooner rather than later. The attorney said it was perfectly all right to make a partial distribution as long as it was made equally to all beneficiaries. So that's what I did, holding back about 4 times as much money as we estimated we needed to close everything out just to be safe. With both the partial distribution and the final distribution I sent a receipt to be signed by the beneficiary simply saying that they received the check.
 
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Old 04-20-11, 06:41 AM
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I was executor of my uncle's estate several years ago. We had a distribution of the majority of the estate's funds before the administration had been completed. Our attorney determined that all creditors had been paid, and that there was no need to delay with the distribution to the heirs while waiting for the statutatory time to expire. We kept some money in the estate account for unforseen expenses but otherwise got the money in the hands of the heirs months ahead of the closure of the estate. The estate's attorney has a duty to protect the interests of all heirs, not just the executors', so I'd suggest visiting with the estate attorney first, before you go to the expense of hiring your own.
 
  #12  
Old 05-10-11, 09:06 PM
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Unexpected situation

I think my siblings, or the estate are suing the auto insurance company. If they file a claim, I guess I can too?
 
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Old 05-11-11, 02:59 AM
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You are part of the estate, and that action covers you. You should have no need for a separate action.
 
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