Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
May I ask are you familiar with the reason it is suggested executors wait 6 months before distributing please?
Yes - usually to ensure no 'unknown beneficiaries' can claim against the estate, I believe
thanks you are quite right. Potential beneficiaries that believe they have a claim under the inheritance tax have six months from the date you obtain part of probate to make a claim. The principal individuals that might have a claim against your mother's estate would be a spouse, children or an individual whom your mother financially maintained prior to her passing though this list is not exhaustive
ultimately the authority and decision as to whether to distribute prior to a six-month period following grant of probate rests with the executors as it is the executives who will be financially liable to any beneficiary who are successful in making a claim. If as executors you judge the risk to be low or practically non-existent particularly in view of the fact that from what you say the executors are the principal beneficiaries of the estate, you may judge that the risk of distributing prior to a six-month period is very low and quite acceptable. You may wish to delay attributing legacies to 3rd parties other than the executors until after the six-month period but again you can weigh this decision using the above criteria
in the event the were a successful claim however unlikely, monies paid out by the executors to 3rd parties and to executors themselves may have to be recalled in order to re-proportion the estate and so in the event that you do decide to pay out for the six-month period, each executor may decide to sensible not to spend the money until after the six-month period has passed but again that is down to each individual.
Inheritance act claims are the exception rather than the rule but they certainly do happen. providing as executors you have weighed risks and you are comfortable with your decisions, and there is certainly no law that says you cannot distribute earlier than six months following grant of probate
That seems very sensible and what I would have expected. Thank you for your help and confirming this for me. I will pass along to my fellow executors.
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