Release of funds before probate is finished.

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Release of funds before probate is finished.

I’m a beneficiary in my dad’s Will and am in some financial trouble and am wondering if some of my inheritance, about 15,000, can be released by the executor? Inventory has been filled with the probate official. The executor says she doesn’t have any issues releasing a couple thousand to me as all creditors and taxes have been paid.

Asked on December 13, 2018 under Estate Planning, Alaska

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Typically, an executor does not distribbte estate assets until after the completion of probate. However, in certain cases and with court approval, an executor can distribute some assets to some beneficiaries prior to the close of probate if there exists a good reason. For example, to avoid certain tax liabilties which could cost the estate money. However, an executor might be reluctant to make an early distribution since they can be held personally laible if, for instance, the estate runs out of money to pay creditors or the like. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, no funds or other assets can be distributed to heirs or beneficiaries until probate is complete. The best the executor can do is contact the court and try to speed up or expedite probate. The funds remain estate funds until probate is over.


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