Great Neck, NY asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York

Q: How can I compel an estate to reimburse me for final expenses that I paid?

My mother's will states that the estate will cover final expenses. I laid out the funds and my siblings reimbursed me their share of the cost. The estate has not reimbursed me for my share. (I have no idea if the estate paid them back). The attorney for the estate is trying to get me to sign a general release in exchange for the reimbursement. I was told that while it is a general practice for attorneys representing an estate to get any party seeking money from the estate to get them to sign a general release. At the same I was told that since I am not a beneficiary of the estate that it is unusual for me to sign a release. I am seeking reimbursement. I was not included as a beneficiary of the estate. I have exchanged numerous emails with the estate attorney and we agreed upon the sum. I told him that I was not inclined to sign the release. My last contact was 2 months ago. He is stalling and dragging this out. How can I compel him to pay me what I am owed. I am in NY.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If he is putting in writing that the estate is reimbursing you in exchange for a release, I don’t understand your hesitation. Do you believe you are owed anything more?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: The release is not unusual. If you have no claims other than the one being paid, there is no downside to signing it. Depending on the amounts we are talking about, it may not be worth moving to compel payment without a release.

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