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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53664
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My husband past away in 2010 leaving me the executrix of his

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My husband past away in 2010 leaving me the executrix of his will. The estate ended up in a 3 year lawsuit against his partner and was not settled till January, 2013. During deposition it was learned the 3 children had sold their interests in the estate and collected the monies due them from the partner. My question is since they sold all their interests they had in the estate three years prior to the estate being settled and didn't pay for any expenses the estate incurred, do I owe them an accounting of the estate?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you

Good afternoon. No, the children would have no recourse against you for an accounting. When they sold their interest in the estate, any claim that they may have against the estate went to their assignee. Thus, only the assignee of their claim would have the right to demand an accounting of the administration of the estate. The original beneficiaries' rights transferred with the assignment of their interests.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That is the way I understand it to, but they have hired an attorney that wrote a demand letter, saying I owe them an accounting of the estate and whoever asks for one and that I owe them more money, since the estate settled for more than they did. So my question is are you sure I don't owe them an accounting? I know the demand letter is a scare tactic. Ironically, it is the same attorney that represented the partner that is now representing the kids (ages 40-45) I also know they only want an accounting so the partner and kids can determine my inheritance, which is none of their business. Just would like to verify.


Thanks for following up. That's the risk of selling your interest in an estate and there is frequently a discount involved in such a sale because the buyer is now taking the risk of time and the risk the estate settlement will ultimately be less. The beneficiaries have no further interest in the estate because no matter the ultimate settlement, they have no entitlement to the funds; rather, they go to the party who bought their interest. It is he that would have the rights that go with the estate settlement, not the former owners (i.e., the original beneficiaries).
Richard and 4 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
The only exception would be if the sale price was based upon the amount of the ultimate settlement. If the amount they were to receive was to be calculated based upon the final estate available, they would then have an interest in the accounting and would be able to demand the accounting.
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