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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 32548
Experience:  Estate Law Expert
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What is the risk for an executor to diperse funds to heirs

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What is the risk for an executor to diperse funds to heirs who need it, prior to the judge signing the order to disperse. The court is Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles, and it has already approved the case; but judge has not signed the order yet.

Dwayne B. :

Hello and thank you for contacting Just Answer. I am an expert here and I look forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Dwayne B. :

If the judge doesn't sign the order or something else comes up then the executowould be held personally liable.

Dwayne B. :

As a general rule the executor wouldn't have the authority to disburse the funds unless the judge has authorized it.

Customer:

I understand the judge needs to sign the order for dispersment. But, as executor I need to do whats best for the beneficiaries and two of them are in need of their inheritance. I am confident that everything is complete and taken care of. If I disperse a partial amount of the inheritance, can the court who can hurt me?

Dwayne B. :

Actually, you don't owe a duty to the beneficiaries. Your duty is only to the court and the estate.

Dwayne B. :

What do you mean by "can the court who can hurt me"?

Customer:

What is the worst that can happen to me if I disperse funds before the judge signs the order. what do you mean by being held liable.?

Dwayne B. :

Just as an example, if a creditor or another beneficiary were to suddenly pop up and the court okayed their claim. Any money that you had disbursed without an order would have to be paid back out of your own pocket.

Customer:

I am extremely confident that all is done. So, if I dispersed say a partial amount of money, before the judge signs the order, but left a good sum in the bank to cover unexpected expenses; it would be safe to say that I wouldn't get into trouble?

Dwayne B. :

No, it is unlikely you would get into trouble but you are still disbursing funds that aren't yours without permission. Many judges say "no harm, no foul" but some are sticklers.

Customer:

I understand what you are saying, and I feel I need to disperse some funds because my mother needs a hip replacement and my sister's business is in danger. I think I will take the risk to disperse some funds, but keep records extremely accurate, unless you absolutey prohibit it.

Dwayne B. :

It's not my place to prohibit it but I can tell you it is rare that anyone would get into trouble for this in a situation like you describe. Definitely possible, but rare.

Customer:

Thank you very much

Dwayne B. :

You're very welcome.

Dwayne B. :

Best wishes to you on this and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating (of course I’d suggest Excellent!) so I get credit for my work. The website only gives credit to the expert if you give a Positive Rating.

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Thank you very much for the Positive Rating. Please come back and visit us if you have any new questions and feel free to ask for me by placing “FOR DWAYNE B” in the subject line or as the first words of your question and I will pick up as soon as I see it.