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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 42897
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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An official legal will bequeaths $10 thousand dollars to one

Customer Question

An official legal will bequeaths $10 thousand dollars to one child, and $5 thousand dollars to each of 3 other children. At the time of death, there is only $4 thousand dollars to bequeath. Who gets the money? Child no. 1, or is is somehow split? Thank you.
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location. Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: We are in NJ. We had to file with the court because the $4,000 is in a T. Rowe mutual fund account and we needed Letters of Testamentary to send to T. Rowe to access that account. Now we're also being told that we need to contact the IRS for an EIN, which is required on the T. Rowe forms.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 11 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Expert:  Ray replied 11 months ago.

Here the money is closed out by the executor/administrator once appointed.The funds are deposited into an estate account under the EIN number.The creditors here get first crack at the money.Any left over funds the court determines who gets what and it may be a fraction of what they were to get.

Expert:  Ray replied 11 months ago.

The priority of payment for creditors by law is (See NJSA 3B:22-32):

  • Reasonable funeral expenses;
  • Costs and expenses of administration (including attorney fees, accountant fees, surrogate fees, executor commission, and other costs necessary to the handling of an estate);
  • Debts for the reasonable value of services rendered to the decedent by the Office of the Public Guardian for Elderly Adults;
  • Debts and taxes with preference under federal law or the laws of this State (including any current or back taxes, interest and penalties);
  • Reasonable medical and hospital expenses of the last illness of the decedent, including compensation of persons attending him;
  • Judgments entered against the decedent according to the priorities of their entries respectively;
  • All other claims.
Expert:  Ray replied 11 months ago.

Honestly by the time the creditors are paid and we are talking the funeral expenses, legal fees, executor gets paid as well and any others there may not be anything left.But if there is the court has to decide who gets paid pro rata among the beneficiaries.They are going to get small pieces of a small pie.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again.

Expert:  Ray replied 11 months ago.

If you can positive rate 5 stars when we are done it is much appreciated.