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VIC What is the Deceased Estate Distribution Time Frame?

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Sammie1, 24 August 2016.

  1. Sammie1

    Sammie1 Member

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    Hi,

    I am my mother's joint executor of will. We lost Mum on the 6th July this year, and the other joint executor (my sister) wants the bank accounts distributed in the next week or so. Myself and the third sister (non-executor) do not want the bank accounts to be distributed until the deceased estate is fully settled (sale of house etc.).

    We have signed the probate documents and the lawyer sent a rather abrupt email yesterday demanding bank account details even though I have told him I am not happy about the quick distribution.

    Is there a 6 month period where we should wait for any contestations of the will, etc? Also, we still have expenses to be taken out of the accounts for the headstone, etc (which hasn't even been decided on yet).

    Any help would be appreciated as I'm having trouble getting straight answers from the lawyer and feel like my sister and I are being railroaded at a time when we are both still grieving.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    You need to ensure that you have money available to pay out debts and expenses and lawyer's fees and etc. As you are a joint executor, you do not have to agree. Advise the lawyer as a joint executor that you do not agree and monies are not to be distributed till a better understanding of the assets and liabilities are known. Depending on how much money is being held it may be possible to make a partial distribution.
     
  3. Sammie1

    Sammie1 Member

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    Thank you so much. At least I can walk into the lawyers with a little more confidence. :) It's a terrible feeling being pushed into a corner.
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Sammie1,

    Most involved including executors and beneficiaries generally want to settle the estate quickly, however several requirements must be met prior to any distribution.
    • Probate must be granted – I assume you already have this or don't require it - as it allows you to legally administer the estate pursuant to the terms of the will.
    • Notice of the distribution must be published to alert possible creditors or other interested parties that the executor intends to distribute the estate.
    • All assets of the estate must be and prepared for distribution.
    • All known debts of the deceased must be paid
    Once all of these requirements have been met, the executor is technically free to distribute the estate.

    However...
    Yes. If you distribute the estate early you can be held personally liable for shortfalls that result from early distribution. It is prudent to hold on to some or all of the estate assets for six months from the date probate is granted.

    If you distribute the estate within six months of probate and a family provision claim is made within the six month period, then you may be personally liable for any amounts the court requires the estate to pay. And don't make any distribution at all if you receive written notification that someone intends to make a family provision application - until you know whether or not a claim is being made.

    As a general rule beneficiaries can expect the estate to be distributed within a year from the date of death unless there are complicating factors that delay distribution. After 12 months interest may be payable on monetary gifts.
     

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