My father died almost two years ago. He had a will and the will left everything to my mother and if my mother was not alive, it left it to my three sisters. My mother is alive and was named as the executrix of the will. The total value of all assets was about a million dollars. My mother hired an attorney who has been helping her through the probate of the will. Today, the lawyer told my mother that in order to move forward I need to sign two documents. The first is called an agreement to dispense with accounting and the second is an approval of accounting and release and refunding bond. I do not want to sign either one until I know what both are and the attorney cannot provide me an answer. Can someone please tell me the risks with signing this and pros and cons of signing both of these documents?
State/Country relating to question: New Jersey
I tried to research online but cannot decipher what these documents mean to me and any future rights to the assets of my father (or mother)
Welcome! Thank you for your question.The documents themselves do not remove any rights you have to your father's estate. Particularly since your mother outlived your father and is entitled to his entire estate. With that said. Ordinarily your mother is required to account for all of your father's assets to the court. This requires an enormous amount of time and expense in preparation of the accounting. However, an accounting does clearly identify the assets and expenses and how all the debts are paid and the assets are distributed. The agreement to dispense with accounting waives your mother's requirement to prepare and file such accountings with the court. The second, approval of accounting and release of bond is saying that you are approving of the accounting that she has prepared but not filed so long as you agree she does not have to file the accounting above. You are also saying that you approve of the assets you receive and release her from any liability for failure to distribute to you your fair share of your father's estate. You are also agreeing to give any assets you received back if it turns out that there are unknown debts that pop up for the estate.I fully understand your concern here. In essence you are releasing your mother from her responsibilities under the estate and saying that you agree with the way she handled the estate. If the will gives everything to her then you would not receive anything further even if you do not agree. Since the assets go fully to your mother she has full rights to leave the assets to anyone she wants upon her death. You may want to think twice about making your mother mad by not signing the documents as you may find yourself outside her estate plans if you do. Just a thought.
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John, thanks for your response. I actaully only want to sign the approval of the accounting and not the release and refunding bond. What would be the impact if I only signed the agreement to acceptance the accounting and asked that they delete the section about thewaiving my rights for juducial settlement in the future? I realize it might not make my mother happy but I don't want to sign anything that forever releases any of my rights---it goes against my better judgement. thank you!
Unfortunately in this type of forum, I cannot give you legal advise. However, you have to sign what you feel comfortable with. My point is that under the will you are not entitled to anything. Therefore your release of rights in the future really does not give up anything. If you believe that your father had a different will, was incompetent when he made this will or was unduly influenced into signing this will then you would be giving up your right to sue to have this will overturned. For that reason you may refuse to sign the release.
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