Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Michigan

Division of Proceeds from Estate

My mother died leaving a savings account, one old car (in her name only) and 5 children. Savings account proceeds were split equally 5 ways. Mom didn't mention the car in her will. The executor said any child could buy the car for $400, have the amount deducted from their share of the savings account proceeds and the $400 would be divided among the other 4 children. Child #1 agreed and had $400 removed from their share in exchange for the vehicle. Each of the remaining 4 were given $100 extra. Child #1 now says the $400 should be split 5 ways, not 4 because it is part of the division of proceeds from the estate. Child #1 bought the car for $400 and now wants $80 back (400/5) making the actual purchase price $320, not the agreed upon price. Should the $400 have been divided 5 ways? Or, did Child #1 actually buy a share of the car from #2,3,4, and 5 entitling them to the extra $100?

Asked on 9/14/07, 5:52 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Lisa K. Prowse Prowse Law PLC
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Re: Division of Proceeds from Estate

Are you secretly a law school professor? ;)

I would say that Child #1 is correct. Assuming there are no other beneficiaries, the car was owned equally by the children. Thus, Children 1 through 5 each owned 20% of the car, right? The car sold for $400. Each child was entitled to 20% of the $400 (regardless of who purchased it.) Thus, each child was entitled to $80 (20% of $400).

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9/14/07, 7:25 pm

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