My sister is executrix of our father’s estate and I am in NY. She sent me this receipt and is saying she will not disperse the payment until I have signed and sent back this receipt saying I already received this. Can you do that? This seems strange.
ANSWER BY MARGARET CROSS-BELIVEAU:
When I represent the executor/personal representative of an estate, I always have the beneficiaries sign a release. It protects the executor from any beneficiary objecting to distributions after the fact. If the money is distributed without a release and a beneficiary objects, the executor could be personally liable. Practically speaking, the release is written as if the two parties were sitting across from each other at a conference room table and both actions happen simultaneously. There is no other way to word a release. The only other option is for you to drive to where the executor is and sign the release the same time as you receive the check.
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Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.
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The estate administration attorneys at the Beliveau Law Group provide legal services for probate, estate administration, and trust administration. The law firm has offices and attorneys in Naples, Florida; Waltham, Massachusetts; and Salem, New Hampshire.