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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I am named as a beneficiary in a will (NYS). The attorney for

Resolved Question:

I am named as a beneficiary in a will (NYS). The attorney for the estate is asking me
to confirm receipt in a notarized "Receipt & Release"of a partial distribution check,
and returning such document before the check is issued.

Does that make sense? Is this what attorney's of Estate usually require ?

Richard Levine XXX@XXXXXX.XXX
XXX-XXX-XXXX
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

Yes, this is very common in estates. Make certain that you read and understand the document. A partial distribution is a distribution of only a portion of the estate that is not contested or subject to pending debts / claims.

ScottyMacEsq :

You essentially say that you agree to receive partial payment now, and that you're not going to hold the attorney / representative liable for not rendering full payment to you NOW. That's common, and nothing that would give me cause to worry.

ScottyMacEsq :

Again, you want to make certain that this, if it's not a total distribution, is clear that it's only partial and that it does not waive payments in the future. It's possible that it could, but most likely it will not.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

I think that you are missing my question: The attorney is asking me to confirm in writing

ScottyMacEsq :

You mean the attorney is asking you to confirm that you've received the check before the check has even been sent?

Customer:

YES !

ScottyMacEsq :

Can you tell me what this notarized receipt actually says?

Customer:

Yes, I RL, dohereby acknowledge receipt of $XXXXfrom the Estate & hereby release and exonerate said Executor with & from all Libility & Accounting & discharge him in connection with this bequest. I further waive any judical settlement or accounting in connection therewith. Request my signature & Have this document notarize....

ScottyMacEsq :

I see. The acknowledgement is receipt of the bequest (gift), not the check. That is, you are saying that you acknowledge that you are receiving $X from the estate. It's not saying that you acknowledge that you have already received a check. Basically it says that you can't take the money and then go back and ask where the money is. It does not waive any rights that you would have to go after the administrator / executor for breaches of fiduciary duty (such as a duty not to self deal, etc...)

Customer:

No they want me to acknowledge receipt of a check in a specific amount before

Customer:

they prepare said check.

ScottyMacEsq :

Where does it say that you acknowledge receipt of a check?

ScottyMacEsq :

I understand they are preparing it. But the statement that you gave to me said something entirely different than acknowledging receipt of a check. Rather you're acknowledging that you are to receive this amount from the estate.

ScottyMacEsq :

It's not saying that you acknowledge that you have received a check.

Customer:

In the "Receipt and Release" document that I am to sign...

Customer:

It is saying that I "hereby receipt of $XXXX from the Estate.....

Customer:

In the letter from the Attorney he state after I have sent my "Receipt and Release"

ScottyMacEsq :

I understand that you stated that this said "I RL, dohereby acknowledge receipt of $XXXXfrom the Estate & hereby release and exonerate said Executor with & from all Libility & Accounting & discharge him in connection with this bequest. I further waive any judical settlement or accounting in connection therewith. Request my signature & Have this document notarize..." Does it say anything about you having received a check?

Customer:

document than they will prepare & sent to me the Check......

Customer:

Yes, they want me to confirm receipt of the check before they prepare & send it...

ScottyMacEsq :

Where does it say that?

ScottyMacEsq :

You said that it says, QUOTE, "I RL , dohereby acknowledge receipt of $XXXXfrom the Estate.."

Customer:

In the letter from the Attorney....

ScottyMacEsq :

You're acknowledging the gift. Is there a different area of the release that says that you acknowledge receipt of the check?

ScottyMacEsq :

You said that "In the letter from the Attorney he state after I have sent my "Receipt and Release"...




document than they will prepare & sent to me the Check......"



Customer:

I never used the term GIFT...........I am only discussing $$$ they use a specific amount..........

ScottyMacEsq :

The release does not specifically say the WORD "check". The letter talks about the check, correct?

Customer:

Yes

ScottyMacEsq :

I know. A "bequest" is a gift in a will. So when the release says "this bequest" it's referring to the amount of money that is at issue.

ScottyMacEsq :

I use "gift" because it's not legalese.

Customer:

Yes

ScottyMacEsq :

If the letter specifically says that after receipt of this release the attorney will release the check, then the attorney would be "estopped" (prevented) from saying that YOU said that you received the check. Furthermore, the release (the document that you actually sign) does NOT say that you received a check. Rather, it says that you acknowledge receipt of a GIFT of the amount of $X. Legally speaking, you're the "beneficial owner" of the amount, even though you don't yet have the check. Acknowledging receipt means that you acknowledge that you were given a certain amount, and that you're not going to contest this amount in court (in a will contest).

ScottyMacEsq :

If the attorney tries to stiff you, you can take him to court and use that letter saying that the attorney would send you the check after you return the release. Again, the attorney would be estopped from bringing up anything to the contrary.

ScottyMacEsq :

But again, the release does not say anything about the check. Acknowledging your bequest says that you're not going to fight for more.

ScottyMacEsq :

If you were to fight for more in a will contest, saying that you deserve twice that, etc... then they would not release you the money as that would be part of the "contested estate".

Customer:

No you are wrong the "Receipt and Release" document speciffically that I have"

Customer:

hereby Acknowledge receipt of the specific amount in partial satisfaction under article 2 of the last will...

ScottyMacEsq :

That's different than what you told me was written earler...

ScottyMacEsq :

*earlier

ScottyMacEsq :

Is there more?

Customer:

let's not get to confusing.....the "Receipt and Release" Document....

Customer:

states 1. I do hereby acknowledge receipt of a specific amount of $$ and than states that I realease the executor from liability & an Accounting...

ScottyMacEsq :

I understand that.

Customer:

They want me to confirm receipt of the amount of money before they send the money.

Customer:

Some how I lost our discussion after 4:08....please help....

ScottyMacEsq :

If I were you, I would not be worried in signing this, because under the circumstances the context is clear that you're acknowledging that you're the recipient of said bequest, not that you have already received the money. Now if you want to be absolutely positive, I would send back a modified Receipt and Release document. It could say "I RL, do hereby acknowledge that I am to be the recipient of $XXXX from the Estate & upon receipt of said funds in the form of a check from the estate hereby release and exonerate said Executor with & from all Liability & Accounting & discharge him in connection with this bequest. I further waive any judicial settlement or accounting in connection therewith. Request my signature & Have this document notarize....

ScottyMacEsq :

I was typiing.

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you see my most previous response?

ScottyMacEsq :

(with the amended language?)

ScottyMacEsq :

Those changes make it clear, in the release, that you have not received the funds yet, but that you acknowledge that you are to be the recipient of said funds.

Customer:

Yes,

ScottyMacEsq :

It's what I am convinced the original says, but only in far more clear words.

ScottyMacEsq :

If you send back that amended text to the attorney, signed and notarized, I don't see why they would reject it, because essentially it is saying the same thing.

ScottyMacEsq :

Does that help?

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Customer:

Can you send to my email account the complete discussion I am not able to print

Customer:

it ......

ScottyMacEsq :

Unfortunately I don't have any access to your email address (JustAnswer doesn't let me have access to that) and even if I did, it would be against the terms of service to send you any communication off site. After you rate this, though, this will switch from chat to Q&A, at which point you'll be able to print it out, or copy and paste, etc...

ScottyMacEsq :

The fact that it's in a chat format means that you can't print, but after you rate, it will change to Q&A (you may need to refresh the page to see the change).

ScottyMacEsq :

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

ScottyMacEsq, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 12221
Experience: Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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