From our “Ask a Question” mailbag: I have served as the Executor for my sister’s Chester County estate for over a year and want to close the estate. Her son claims that I have embezzled money from the estate. This is ridiculous. Can I close the estate while he makes these claims?
As the executor, you could make an “at risk” distribution of the estate assets. This means you distribute the money without your nephew’s agreement. This is not advisable, as your nephew could then use his inheritance to hire a Chester County Orphans’ Court Lawyer and force you to file a formal account. Because you would have distributed the estate funds, the cost of hiring an attorney to defend against his claims would come out of your pocket.
The better option is to retain your own Chester County Orphans’ Court Attorney before making a distribution file a Formal Accounting. The costs of filing an accounting are paid out of the estate’s funds. Your nephew is then free to object to your accounting. If you cannot satisfy his objections, there will be a hearing in front of the Chester County Orphans’ Court. Either way, you are then done and released.
It is unfortunate that your nephew is making these claims, but there is a forum available to you that will allow you to bring the estate to a conclusion.
If you need assistance with estate administration or Probate in Chester County, please contact one of our Probate Lawyers for a free consultation.