Is there a certain amount of time that people have to claim money named to them in a Will?

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Is there a certain amount of time that people have to claim money named to them in a Will?

My grandfather died 3 years ago and we received our money named to us in the Will the following year. He named myself, my parents, my sister and my niece and nephew in the will to receive 1/4 each. My niece and nephew have not claimed their money yet. Is there a certain amount of time someone has to claim their portion? If so can it be dispersed among the other people named? If not, what happens to that money if they don’t claim it?

Asked on December 12, 2011 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

To answer your question, it is not so much a question of a beneficiary claiming the 'gift" under the probated Will, but rather the executor's or executrix's duty to make the actual distribution of the "gift" through the assistance of the probate attorney to all beneficiaries under the probated Will in a timely manner and fashion.

If the "gift" is money to be given to the niece and nephew from the estate and there has been an approved order for distribution, I would simply send the niece and nephew a letter with the check certified mail return receipt requested to close out the estate's assets. If they return the check, then a document disclaiming the interests in the estate needs to be sent and signed by the niece and nephew and their share gets divided up in accordance with the terms of the probated Will.

 


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