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The Weekly Scenario: Distributing the Property of the Estate to Hiers

Question: After the court approves the final accounting for an estate, how long do I have to wait to distribute the property of the estate to the heirs? I am the Personal Representative of the estate and all my siblings are pushing me to distribute and close the estate? Answer: In Maryland, after a final accounting is filed with the court, if all is in order, the Court will approve the account. The estate beneficiaries have 20 days from the approval order to file so called ‘exceptions’ to the accounting. In other words, they have 20 days to object to the accounting. The problem with making a distribution before this period expires is that as Personal Representative you may be liable for any distributions you make if the accounting is successfully challenged.

Because of this personal liability, I strongly recommend that you should wait the 20 day period to be sure there will be no objections filed.

If you have any questions or would like more information please contact Steve Shane at: | 301.575.0313.

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Steve Shane Head Shot for webSteve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates.

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