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impatient heirs

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ronald c

What is the name of your state? PA. I am executor of my uncle's estate. He married late in life to a divorced woman with two adult children. He had no children of his own and his wife died 12 years ago. His will was drawn up in Florida, where he lived for ten years, prior to returning to PA, where he died. He made special bequests to two friends in Florida, plus his church. Everything else is to be divided between ten heirs, one brother and nine nieces and nephews. The lawyer seems very knowledgeable. He said I should not distribute the assets of the estate until one year after the death was advertised in legal newspapers. He said, as the executor, I would be legally responsible for any claims against the estate until a year has passed. One relative feels that is too long and lawyer is wrong. I am very satisfied with the lawyer and have no problem waiting. But, is it really necessary to wait one year?

Dandy Don

Senior Member
Don't wait for a response from a Pennsylvania attorney on this board, because there may not be any viewing it.

The will is normally supposed to be probated in the county where the death occurred. Has the will already been probated in Pennsylvania and is the estate still open or has it closed? What was the total value of this estate and how much is going to be paid out in the distribution?

The 1-year advice is generally a good rule but it is a bit too long. The problem here is that you need to also need to publish an death notification ad in the Florida city newspaper where he lived so that if there are any creditors in Florida that they can file a claim with you to be paid. If no ad was published there would be no way for them to know that he died.

Get a second opinion from 2 other Pennsylvania probate attorneys about whether you should wait that long. If it is reasonable to assume that there will be no other creditors coming forward and if you have been responsible enough to get any state and federal taxes paid, then you should be able to at least make a partial distribution to the heirs in a relatively short period of time. You could set aside $2,000 - $5,000 in the estate account just in case any future claims come in, just to be on the safe side.

DANDY DON ([email protected])

ronald c

Dandy Don,
Thank you for your advice, my uncle died in June and the will was probated in PA. The estate is still open and it's value is a little over $100,000. It was not advertised in Florida. I will mention that to the attorney. Thanks, R.C.

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