Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New York

Partial distributions

I am Executor of estate whose beneficiaries are myself and two brothers. One brother, due to his own poor financial state, is pressing for partial distribution of the estate. Total estate is about $650K, with modest debts and taxes owed. The deceased had excellent insurance coverage (Medicare + private) and as of 4 months post-death I haven't received any bills for balance due on medical bills.

(1) How do I know what is appropriate, fair amount? I know estate must stay open 7 months from date Letters issued. I certainly want to reserve funds for unforseen creditors, but am being pressured to distribute as much as possible.

(2) Do I need written receipt from heirs, should I obtain if I do distribute some funds, or is returned check sufficient proof?

Thank you for your assistance.

Asked on 6/18/03, 2:20 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

Re: Partial distributions

The prior response by Mr.LeVine is correct. Good luck.

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Answered on 6/19/03, 9:11 am

Walter LeVine Walter D. LeVine, Esq.

Re: Partial distributions

Since the estate is less than $1MM, there is no federal estate tax due, and probably a minimal NY Inheritance Tax. Depending upon your estimate of the outstanding bills, a reserve of $100M or so seems more than adequate. If all heirs do not need equal preliminary distributions, you can advance to the needy one up front, and defer the balances until all tax matters are resolved. Get a Release and Refunding Bond for the amount of the preliminary distribution(s). I can assist you if you write me an e-mail or call me at 973-377-3313.

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Answered on 6/18/03, 2:37 pm

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