If my father’s estate has been in probate for 8 months and no creditors claims have been made, can we distribute the money now without waiting for the full year?

My father’s estate is small and very simple. The court told us that it cannot close the case until my father has been deceased for 1 year. Can we distribute the money without worrying about future claims? He did not owe on credit cards or have outstanding balances.

Asked on July 14, 2015 under Estate Planning, Arizona


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If a judge has told you to wait... then you need to wait.  You don't want to face a contempt or penalty for violating any specific instructions by a judge.  With that being said, however, you are not without options.  You can file a motion for an early whole or partial distribution.  If you aren't sure on how to handle the judge, consider obtaining a consultation with a probate attorney to walk you through that process.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.