HellBill » Hell Bill Area: » Pay Bill/ Pay Bills » Can executors of an estate ask you to return money because you refuse to inherit part of the estate

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  #1 (permalink)
: I have inherited a house and some money from an estate, the house is co-owned by my father and I. There is an apartment in the estate that has very high bills, there is also some money in the estate to pay these bills. I am considering refusing the apartment because of the high bills (DONT give me other options for the apartment please just answer the question)... If I refuse the apartment will the estate ask that I return the money and property I currently own? When I asked the executor this they said that I can't refuse property since I already accepted part of the estate, but that doesn't make sense to me.. Please help?

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  #2 (permalink)
: Speak to a financial advisor, one not supplied by, nor recommended by the executor of the will.

The chances are, that if the bills exceed the value of the apartment, theyll be legally permitted to use the rest of the estate to pay them off, so everyone who received anything in the will, will lose part or all of their inheritance.

Then again, you could get a loan secured on the apartment, pay the bills off and put it up for rent, get the rent to cover the loan payments.
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  #3 (permalink)
: You need a lawyer on this one. I think that the executor is referring to disclaiming an inheritance. It must be a full disclaimer. However, there may be something in the law in your state that allows you to refuse the apt. Perhaps you should take the apt and sell it.
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  #4 (permalink)
: You cannot accept part of an estate--it's all or nothing. Weigh your options, but the law doesn't permit the one you're considering.
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  #5 (permalink)
: None of it makes sense. An estate is a common pool. All debts of the estate must be paid before ANY assets can be transferred. If there are debts for the apartment, they must be paid by the estate before you can receive any inheritance. If the executor disbursed money before paying debts, he/she could be personally responsible for the debts.
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  #6 (permalink)
: Are you in the US? Because I know laws are very different in England and they may have a law that does not allow partial inheritances and disclaimers of part of an estate. I think it's all or nothing there.

But if you are in either place, you need a lawyer. In the US, each state has different laws, so it would depend on where the probate was filed what the law says about that. But pretty sure in most states you can refuse part of an inheritance and the rest of it would just go to the residuary of the estate. However, here, it sounds like you already accepted the devise. And once you accept it, you can't give it back and expect to be free from obligations. Not to mention, you just turned it into a situation where it can now be taxed for capital gains. Was this even a devise or was this an operation by a trust deed or other legal operation unrelated to the probate? For example, spouses automatically get the home they shared or if you were a joint tenant with a right of survivorship, it would circumvent the entire probate process and automatically be transferred to you by law. If it was not something like that and was only his property, and then devised to you, unless you disclaim it before enjoying the rights of ownership, i.e. possession (which I assume you possess it so you enjoy those rights, whether costly or not) then it's yours now, and you can't give it back without paying fees for the transfer, whatever those may be. So get a lawyer. You can certainly disclaim the apartment in most states (before accepting it) It would just go into the remainder of the estate and would be distributed to the next of kin if it doesn't have a specific devise for it, but you need to contact an estate/probate lawyer to get real answers on your specific situation. Good luck.
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