When can I expect payment from my father's estate?

3 answers | Last updated: Aug 19, 2016
Birdland1950 asked...

My father left his house to his stepchildren and any cash from his estate goes to us, my father's children. His stepdaughter is the executor. When can I expect payment?

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

The law does not impose a specific deadline on executors, but generally requires them to administer a will and distribute the property it covers "within a reasonable time." What's considered "reasonable" depends on how much property is involved, how complex the plans for leaving it -- and in this case, perhaps, how quickly the housing market allows the house to move to a new buyer.

As a very general target, know that most beneficiaries receive the property they're due from six to eighteen months after a death occurs.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

My brother is the Trustee of my father's Will. Dad passed in March of '09. The will is being handled by a reputable attorney. My sister and I are the Beneficiaries. My brother is not communicating with us about the progress toward the distribution of the assets. Is he legally bound to tell us what is going on ? The attorney has given us info only when we ask him directly, and does not elaborate, only giving short and vague answers. My dad lived with my brother for his last eight years in Florida. I reside in Ohio and my sister lives in Texas. The value of the Will is not over $500,000. My brother has told my sister and I in several emails that we don't 'deserve' anything from the Will. He is extremely adversarial. How can we get him to tell us more details ? I know the average time to close out the Will is 6-18 months. We want to minimize this from being dragged out, and my sister and I cannot afford to hire our own attorney.

Geo2015 answered...

As a consultant I see this type of delay over and over again -- either due to trust distribution schedule that is way out in the future... or as a result of the probate process, of course depending on which state or county, as some are slower than others of course. Also, another element I never quite understand is the allowed inexperience of most executors... which frequently causes delays all on its' own. In my view executors should be forced to attend a seminar or workshop to understand more about their role and how it affects the estate and probate process. Anyway, these probate delays, as well as trust delays, until final distribution, cause a lot of heirs and beneficiaries to become impatient and motivates many heirs to go to their attorney to ask, "Can I borrow against my inheritance?" or that may tell their executor of advisor, "I need to borrow money against my inheritance".... Naturally they get no help there, and so go online to look up an established probate loan or inheritance advance or estate loan niche firm they can get inheritance advance rates or inheritance loan fees from... Then usually apply for a loan against inheritance, after looking into various beneficiary loans or inheritance loans as well as talking to probate loan, inheritance advance loan, estate loan or probate advance experts at probate loan or estate advance firms like www.heiradvance.com, or estate loan firms like www.inheritanceadvance.com, or trust fund loan or probate loan assignment firms like www.inheritancenow.com; find out how they can get the lowest inheritance advance rates or inheritance loan fees -- and then make a decision and get a 72 hour inheritance advance loan or the fastest probate loan or probate advance assignment they can get... take out as much probate cash as they get approved for, usually to eliminate debt, get up to date on rent, purchase a better car, and other practical investments. Heirs that go for advance probate cash or a 72 hour probate loan or inheritance advance -- rarely squander their advance probate cash because they consider their inheritance money to be "found money" as some people think. Probate loan or inheritance loan, or probate real estate loan heirs value that cash as if they had earned every single dime.