What are a benenficiary’s rights regarding the distribution of an estate?

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What are a benenficiary’s rights regarding the distribution of an estate?

My mother passed a year ago and her house is in the Will to be distributed amongst the 3 sons. The closing for the home is this Thursday. My brother is the executor of the Will and will not give me and my other brother any details on the closing. He also said he will give us our portion of the sale whenever he feels like it. Is this legal?

Asked on February 11, 2014 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, it is not legal. The executor must distribute the proceeds to the beneficiaries at the earliest reasonable opportunity and not "when he feels like it." What your brother proposes to do violates his duties as executor, including his fiduciary duty. If he will not distribute the proceeds to the beneficiaries but rather holds on to them, the beneficiaries may bring a legal action to compel him to do his duty.


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