Q: My father passed away in April 2020. His estate was filed into probate in August 2020. I am one of the beneficiaries.
There were 2 properties listed in probate. A house and 5 acres of empty land. The house sold and the buyer paid and it closed on February 12, 2020. The 5 acres of empty land still needs to be sold, property taxes are $400 per year and that has already been paid for 2020. There are no other expenses for the estate. My sister is executrix of my fathers estate and another one of my sisters is Trustee. I asked about receiving my share of the funds from the house being sold and I was told that I would not receive anything until the 5 acres of land has been sold. There is also $46,000.00 being held in my fathers bank account of money my father had in the bank. My question is how do I get my share of the funds from the house now? Are they allowed to hold all money from the beneficiaries? The only expense for the estate is $400 in property taxes and that has already been paid this year and there is $46,000.00 in the bank not including the house which netted $103,000.00. Please help. Thank you.
The short answer is that you may not be able to get the proceeds right now. Probate can be a long complex process lasting multiple years if issues arise. Proceeds from the sale of the real estate will be subject to claims against your father's entire estate and is not just limited to encumbrances specific to the property.
You will likely need to sit down with a probate attorney who works in the county where the probate is taking place to review the situation in detail. A lot of variables need to be figured out before a clear answer can be given.
Best of luck.
A: It is up to the Trustee when to distribute funds to the beneficiaries. The trustee has the right to make interim distributions before everything is final, but is likely that the Trustee prefers to get all income taxes settled before making distributions. It is not unreasonable to delay distributions while the taxes get settled, and that may not be for another few months. If you have need of the funds, you may consider hiring your own lawyer to request an accounting and have a frank discussion about making interim distributions of some amount.
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