North Miami Beach, FL asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Florida

Q: Mother passed away in Florida - the only asset to be managed is a single check for $7969.64 made out to her estate.

The check is a distribution from my late aunt's trust. We are unable to deposit it because we have no estate account for my mother. There was no probate process initiated for her because my parents' assets were combined/shared 100% -probate was done via my father's summary administration and that is finished.

We have asked the trust administrator if they would reissue the check in her name without "estate" on it so we could deposit it to an existing account with her name on it - or if they could reissue it to "her estate OR my father's estate" because late aunt's trust names both parents as heirs and previous distributions have been joint not split. If it could be issued with "OR" then could I deposit it to my father's estate account which is still open?

My brother and I are the only heirs and are named co-executors in her will- we are also beneficiaries of this trust behind our late parents. Is it realistic to think we can we get this check reissued so we can deposit it?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Jose Ignacio Leon
Jose Ignacio Leon pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Coral Gables, FL
  • Licensed in Florida

A: Generally speaking, you're right in thinking your first and best step is to talk to the trustee of the trust.

Depending on the language of the Trust there might be a fair amount of flexibility in how they can issue the distribution checks.

Additionally, in most trusts there is also language dealing with how the Trust deals with deceased beneficiaries. Often, those funds would then be distributed to the lineal descendants of the specific beneficiary who passed away.

Based on the information you provided it seems like there is a good chance the funds could be distributed to you and your sister but the only way to be sure is to consult with an attorney and have them review the trust.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.