Can I get my inheritance sooner if I’m under hardship? - Estate Planning Law Questions and Answers- LawQA.com

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Can I get my inheritance sooner if I’m under hardship?

My grandfather just died and left me in his will to split with my mother and my 2 aunts, 1 of which is the executor. So my main question is: If my grandfather had no debits and no one contesting the will itself, would I need a lawyer? And if I'm under hardship can I get my inheritance sooner than later?

Answer By Ronald K. Nims

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Unless you don't trust your aunt- the executor - there is no need to get an attorney. That said, almost everyone who is cheated is cheated by someone they trust. The executor will file the will and ask her sisters and you to waive contesting the will and her appointment as executor. If everyone signs these it speeds up the process by a month. The main problem is the probate court has no way of knowing that your grandfather has no debts - and he probably owes healthcare providers for his final illness, the funeral home, and utility bills. These people have 6 months to submit their bills. What I generally recommend is to set aside a reasonable amount to pay any bills that come in and distribute the rest early. Now, that's not so easy if grandfather owned a house. Generally takes a while to sell a house.

Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 4/26/2014

Answer By Edwin K. Niles

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1. Hardship has nothing to do with probate. 2. Take it up with the executor. It would require court approval. 3. Don't spend your money on a lawyer unless there is a real dispute.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/23/2014

Ashcraft & Ashcraft, Ltd.
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If you object to the activity or the lack of activity by the executor then you may need a lawyer. Distribution out of the estate must be made proportionately to all heirs at the same time. The payment to one heir should not be advanced over the payment due other heirs. Partial distributions to all the heirs are possible. Final Distribution should not be made until after the statutory claim period has expired and after all assets are collected and liquidated, if appropriate. If your distribution under the terms of the Will are to be made to you outright on the death of your grandfather, with no provision for postponement of possession then the executor has the discretion to make a partial distribution to you and the other heirs to assist you in dealing with your hardship. If your distribution is subject to a provision of postponement of possession the executor must follow such terms. The terms of the Will or trust set the rules as to when and how your share of the estate can be delivered.

Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 4/23/2014

Peters Law, PLLC
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Probably not, unless the executor is willing to take that chance. You say there is no debt, but the estate must publish a notice to creditors and in Idaho, there is a 4-month period for the creditors to file their claims. In addition if property is to be sold, etc., then there should probably be no distribution until everything is liquidated. It doesn't sound like you need an attorney. You just need to talk with your aunt.

Answer Applies to: Idaho
Replied: 4/23/2014

Answer By Jayne Sebby
Sebby Law Office
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There's more to closing an estate than handing out the inheritance. The executor needs to notify all your grandfather's creditors and debtors, collect and inventory the estate, pay off all the debts and taxes he owed, and file various reports with the probate court. Only then are the remaining assets distributed according to the will. This process takes a minimum of 6 months and usually longer. Hardship is generally not a valid reason to pay a beneficiary before the process is complete.

Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 4/23/2014


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The probate must go through the mandated steps. No one can collect their bequest until all the steps are followed. If there truly no debts or arguments the probate may progress at a more streamline rate than usual.

Answer Applies to: New Mexico
Replied: 4/23/2014


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Sorry no you can't. The statutes allows for creditors to collect from an estate before distribution takes place. I know you believe that there are no creditors for your grandfather, however the statutes requires that a publication be made for unknown creditors and allows 90 days for them to respond after the publication.

Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 4/23/2014

Law Offices of Charles R. Perry
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Nothing in the law allows a person to speed up the distribution of an estate due to some sort of hardship. The timing of any distribution is at the discretion of the executor. Whether you need a lawyer depends on your circumstances. If you have no claim against the estate (e.g., to contest the will), it is unlikely that you need an attorney. It is unclear whether an attorney can help you obtain your inheritance any faster.

Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/23/2014


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In Michigan, the estate must be open for at least 6 months. That does not mean that distributions cannot be made before that time. But it is common to wait at least 4 months until the creditor claim period has expired. Hardship does not speed the process, but if the Personal Representative is willing to make an early distribution, there is nothing preventing it. You can certainly ask. If the administration is fairly straightforward, you may not need your own attorney. If you have questions or concerns, you can have an attorney review the situation for a relatively small charge.

Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/22/2014

Answer By Sean P. O'Keefe
O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
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In Maryland, whether you can receive your inheritance "earlier," whether it's based on a hardship or other reason, depends on what the personal representative (your aunt) decides to do. If there are no debts or claims against the estate, and there are enough funds estimated to advance a distribution to you, then you may receive some or all of your inheritance "early." However, it's up to the person handling the estate. You may not need a lawyer to represent you, but depending on your specific situation one may be helpful.

Answer Applies to: Maryland
Replied: 4/22/2014

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