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Can the Executor of an Estate Close Without Beneficiary Signature?

Discussion in 'Estate Administration & Probate Court' started by Clairik, Jan 6, 2018.

  1. Clairik

    Clairik Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello. This is a follow-up to a question I asked a few weeks ago. My brother is the executor of my father's estate. My siblings and I were under the impression we would need to sign off on the estate before my brother could close it. My sister spoke with an attorney through her company's legal plan and was told this is not true. My brother can distribute the estate as he sees fit and if we are unhappy with it, we could file a grievance after the fact. Doing so could incur substantial court costs which would render any victory pyrrhic.

    Do beneficiaries get any say in the estate before it closes? Your answer to me a few weeks about determining the house value implied we do. Thank you for your input.
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    If this is worth something to you, HIRE a lawyer, don't rely on free advice or limited legal plan guidance.
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    That discussion had to do with your brother buying out the interest of the other siblings. It had nothing to do with the probate process.

    Absolutely the worst way to get legal advice. Second only to trying to get it on the internet. ;)

    No, he has to distribute it according to the will and the probate laws, not as he sees fit, unless the will says those words.

    Being "unhappy" with the results doesn't necessarily give you grounds for legal action.

    Aside from the house thing, what is he doing now that is making you and your sister "unhappy"?

    I've always wondered if anyone but me knew what a pyrrhic victory was.:D

    I agree with Army Judge. If you and your sister have issues with anything your brother is doing, hire a probate attorney to monitor the probate as there are things that can be done during the process if your brother is not fulfilling his duties properly.
  4. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Would have been better to tag this onto the existing thread, which contains a bunch of information that is quite relevant to this thread, rather than start a new thread.

    For those who don't feel like looking for the prior thread, the OP stated the estate is being administered in CA and confirmed that his/her brother was, in fact, appointed by the probate court to serve as executor.

    Where did you get this impression?

    Technically this is true. In the abstract, virtually anything can happen (although, in my response in your prior thread, I expressly told you that your brother was not entitled to distribute the net estate as he saw fit). Before an estate administration can be closed, the executor must file an accounting with the court and a proposed plan of distribution and have the court approve it.

    If things are done properly, the beneficiaries will have an opportunity to review the final accounting and proposed plan of distribution and object if they believe it is appropriate to do so.

    The lore of the Battles of Heraclea and Asculum notwithstanding, if you want your brother called to task, you're far better off hiring an attorney to assist you.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018

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