As executor can I make an initial distribution to heirs?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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As executor can I make an initial distribution to heirs?

The estate is about $1,100,000. The heirs are myself 1/3 my sister 1/3 and my late sister’s 2 children 1/3. My living sister had $125,000 advanced, my late sister $30,000 and I received about $55,000. by the terms of the will the advancements are to be equalized. The house is being sold for about a net of $510,000. Can I give my siste’s heirs $95,000 myself $70,000 and divide the

remaining $345,000 equaly. There will still be about $100,000 in equity in a 2nd house and $250,000 in cash. There is also an inherited IRA that is being divided equally. I believe there is more than enough to pay any tax liability for this and last year as to my late father’s obligations.

Asked on September 12, 2017 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You seeem to have a grasp on things here but I am always concerned about the personal liability of a Fiduciary if something unexpected happens and there are insufficient funds left in the estate to deal with it.  Have you spoken with a Fiduciary accountant and gotten at least a preliminary tax liability determination? I would do that before you do the next distribution. And once you have the number add some to it for a cushion.  The you have done some due diligence on that front.  Good luck. 

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