When money is awarded by the court because no Will was found, do you have to pay it back if a 25 year old Will turns up?

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When money is awarded by the court because no Will was found, do you have to pay it back if a 25 year old Will turns up?

My friend lives in one state and her aunt lived in another. She had no children and apparently no Will died. The court divided the inheritance among her nieces and nephew. Now, months later, a previous attorney of the aunt filed a 25 year old Will which makes the first child of the nephew the major beneficiary. Does everyone have to return the money?

Asked on June 16, 2012 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Whether the court ordered distribution concerning the assets of the deceased needs to be returned or not by the person who received such where a Will has been found depends upon how long ago was the distribution of the assets and how long was the given estate closed.

If more than four (4) years, then the statute of limitations to contest the probate of the Will bars any claims of any beneficiary.

From what you have written, if the probate has not been closed and a Will has been found, then those who are not named in the Will should be ordered to return the assets that they have received if the estate has not been closed for more than four (4) years.


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