Settling the estate. How do you divide what's left?

Follow
Share

Well, I am at the point of settling mom's estate. We've all read the stories here of siblings that didn't help, ones that stole from her and others that took advantage. I am in charge of disbursing the money remaining. (I was an owner on her account and I am beneficiary to her life insurance.) Mom did leave a well but there are no assets to probate. This is the point where I could say to siblings - you did this or didn't do that - and decrease their share of the estate. I did, in fact, discuss this with mom prior to death and she said divide equally. It just galls me to do that with the sibling that stole over $8000 from her in the past two years and conned her out of her house, another sibling who had her sign land over to her, and the ones who never visited or lifted a finger to help. I've read all your stories. How did YOU divide what was left?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
18

Answers

Show:
i agree with littletonaway,
my parents made me executor 30 yrs ago because of my sense of fairness . my mother suggested one sibling get 6 k while another got a house and property . i offered her 9 k because it was a more fair distribution of what remained .
mom wasnt in her right mind her last few years of life , thats where my personal judgement came into play..
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I stopped reading at "she said divide it equally." No brainer. Divide it equally, that's what your mother wanted.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Ok, this is my 4th time thru a Will and probate. Husband and I each were executor on 2 between his parents and mine. We did not take executor fees...not to upset anyone, it is just how we felt. Our final act of taking care of our parents; just like our caregiving, it was done out of love not financial consideration.

We both had siblings that had borrowed and we know some paid back and others didn't. That was something parents chose to do and didn't have anything to do with the inheritance. Stealing, fraud etc. I do have a different take and if it could be proven legally with paperwork, then yes, deduct it from the inheritance. Being executor means you follow the "last wishes" of whoever; not drag up family history or heresay.

I would trust we all took care of our parents without list making of how many times sister Sissy called and how many times brother Bob didn't show up. Time to grow up and be adult. Our parents would want that and more than that they deserve that final respect. You can't change history but you can change your heart! Keep it all as simple as possible. Best wishes to all.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Wow, I've been researching the process for closing out an estate, since I'll be doing it for my mother someday. Hers is a revocable trust, which upon her death, becomes irrevocable. You've all given me a lot to explore further. I definitely am warming to the idea of being paid for this -- it sounds like a tremendous amount of work. And yes, I have one sibling who is not involved, except to ask for money. Per my parents' instructions, things are to be divided 60/40 in my favor. I assume this is because they wanted to acknowledge my involvement vs. his, and his financial neediness. But what I've been dealing with so far re-my mother's care, with lots more to come, and the enormous task of settling her affairs, makes me think that maybe my parents weren't as aware of the reality of things as they thought they were (not that they could have been--you never know until you're in the thick of it).
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Oh another thing, for one of my aunts estate, there was a total PIA nephew. He assumed he would be the POA, aunt had lent him lots of $ over the years, yada, yada.... When I was appointed, lots of noise about challenging the will, etc. The attorney knew of aunts concern with nephew, so he was prepared to go hard-azz if I, as executrix, would do it. Sure why not! What we did was to send to worthless W-9's for all the years that auntie had given him $$ along with a letter stating that the estate would be filing taxes for the current year and then possibly for prior years (changes) and that the W-9 would need to be filled out as funds paid to worthless would be reported. That pretty well shut him up on being a problem. I understand he is still pissed but whatever…….

My point in all this is that there could well be tax implications on things that your own worthless siblings did with mom. And you can, as administrator of her estate, file taxes that reflect this in the final tax filing for mom for this year & even go back to prior years and do an amendment. I can tell you right now that if you were to send them W-9's and for more fun, I-9's, along with a letter stating that everybody who may get inheritance will need to fill out, they will just have a fit. Could be fun! But you could use this concept as leverage with them if they start giving you a hard time on all this too as they probably are shady in doing their taxes to begin with. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Most joint accounts have right of survivorship if that is the account you own. A life insurance policy with a beneficiary passes outside of probate, same as the joint account. You do not have to share those. Anything that goes through probate has to be dispersed according to the will. It is totally up to you if you want to share the account money or the life insurance pay out. No assets to probate, no need to worry. Your money, your choice.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thank you all for your helpful responses. I'm sure I will split it equally in the end - less administrative costs - and marvel at the unconditional love my mom was able to give.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I'm the 24/7/365 caregiver for my folks, and honestly, even though my parents will says to divide things "equal portions", I seriously would like to receive something better than that, or at least first pick of the items left over.
You can read my other posts here about the crap that is going on in my family. But it's all because my parents have the wrong person as the POA (she lives far out of state and is literally costing too much money to do the job).
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

i took my closet full of motorcycle carbs and hauled balls .
just sayin , ill be ok . dont cry for me -- argentiiiinaaa ..
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I've been executrix twice and here's my suggestions:
- pay yourself for administration. If you are not going to probate, then I would call the courthouse to see what the costs are for probate. Then you pay yourself that full amount as you are saving the "estate" those costs alone. Then for the amount to pay for your "administration", well the probate attorney said to me either you pay yourself & do the the work or you pay my office for me & my paralegal to do the work…..so I did a lot of the work (almost 4 years full run probate too for 1 of my aunts). The amount was based on the percentage of the known estate at the beginning, so if mom has 50K in savings that all would be in her estate and a home with assessor value of 100K, then her known estate is 150K and you can pay yourself off the top 15%. Then when everything is done and final, final, final and there is funds left then you can pay yourself an additional 5% (so your administration fee is 20% of the estate). This is what we did and I was told is somewhat standard of an approach especially if the executrix has any education and is themselves a professional.

About the worthless siblings, this is totally a hornets nest. IF & totally IF you can prove with documentation the 8K and house transfer; and then the land transfer, then I would deduct the amounts from their share. Like you get the documents of the filings from the courthouse that show the registered transfer of the ownership of the land and you get the tax assessor records for the land at the time of the transfer. As administrator you have to do all this anyways and you want to clearly show with documentation why worthless bro #2 & even more worthless bro # 3 had their share reduced. Then when you distribute the funds, everybody gets a folder with all those details in it. They will still be pissed but the reasoning will all be out there as to why.

Most courthouses have all their records available as an on-line download for minimal costs too. You need to find the parcel number for the properties as this is the key for all info. Really once you have it, you can quickly get what you need to document everything on all real property the mom had. Most counties do this for the more recent past - like 10 years. Older than that they research and mail to you. Keep track of the costs as those are expenses to be reimbursed for too.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.