How to divide this estate fairly

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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How to divide this estate fairly

Ill try to make this as brief as possible. My mother died November 7 2017 and I am the executor of her will I have a letter of authority from the court house in Kent county MI. My mothers will states that her possessions are to be divided per sterpes between my 2 brothers and myself as I understand it this would mean three ways. The estate is only worth 144K and this divided by three is about 48K for each brother. My littlest brother has received her car 5200 with both the estate and his name on the title, her insurance annuity an insurance based savings plan of about 17K and he was beneficiary, and a college mutual fund him also as the beneficiary for his two kids this fund is valued at almost 40K. Doesnt this mean he has been over paid according to the will 62K minus 48K or overpaid about 14K? My question is this if he is over paid then would it be worth my while to file for a petition for the estate for property recovery from him? It would be nice to get back the car and at least some cash. Thanks so much in advance.

Fred Kissell
616 696-0237

Asked on February 22, 2018 under Estate Planning, Michigan


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  So I think that the issue here is what assets you are including as estate assets.  If the car is titled in both their names and is a Transfer on Death (TOD), it is not an estate asset.  Same goes for the annuity and the mutual fund if the have beneficiary designation forms.  These would pass "outside the estate."  Please seek consultation from an estate lawyer in your area.  You have a fiduciary obligation and need to protect yourself here.  Just go fo a consultation as to what assets are included in the estate and which are not. Then divode those that are by 3 after all fees, and bills have been paid.  Good luck.

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