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Is it normal/ok to sign receipt of inheritance if I have not gotten the dispersement?

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.

Beliveau Law Group: Massachusetts | Florida | New Hampshire

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.

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