Do you have to submit itemized bank statements from estate accounts to the probate court?

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Do you have to submit itemized bank statements from estate accounts to the probate court?

My mother-in-law passed away. Our lawyer didn’t tell us to create an estate account until 7 months after she died, so my husband and his brother deposited the money from her closed bank accounts into their own accounts (about $15K). Now it looks like we’ll have to submit a First and Final Account to the probate court. Can we create an estate account now, and just have each son write checks for the total that they each took? Or will the probate court see that the money in the accounts came from her sons, and not from the banks?

Asked on April 22, 2011 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to not make the situation worse so if your lawyer committed malpractice,  you need to first obtain an attorney to sort through this mess and not make it look like money laundering or committing fraud on the estate. Next, this also means you need to file a malpractice claim against the first attorney for return of monies and also any damages caused by the malpractice and file a complaint with the Massachusetts State bar. Simply writing checks back to the account will not be sufficient because in essence, you need to worry about interest accruing or that should have accrued, whether creditors could have filed claims against the estate via the bank account balance, whether taxes are owed and whether the will if any exisits discussed the bank accounts and other assets.


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