What are my legal options if 2 heirs were mistakenly sent money from an estate and won’t return it?

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What are my legal options if 2 heirs were mistakenly sent money from an estate and won’t return it?

Money sent to 2 heirs by mistake. Those heirs were contacted and told of the mistake but refused to return money to the executor. Petitioned court for audit of disbursements made and court acknowledged error. It has ordered those heirs to return money within 30 days (the heirs reside in TX but the court judgement was issued in IL). What to do if they won’t return it. 

Asked on October 7, 2010 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am assuming that you are the Executor of the estate, correct?  When you say "court judgement" do you mean a real judgement for a sum certain or an order for return of the money?  If the heirs will not return the money then you are going to have to proceed to sue them for it.  Once you get a judgement then you can file it in Illinois and proceed to collect on the judgement just like any creditor: garnishment of wages, liens on real property, seizure of personal property, etc. As the Executor you have great power to enforce the law.  The problem you will have here is to obtain jurisdiction over the heirs as they are in another state.  You will need some legal advice here from an attorney in your state.  Good luck.


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