Can executors ask for money back after it has been dispersed? 2 Answers as of May 02, 2011

I live in Tennessee and my aunt died July 2010 without a will. She was never married and had no children. Her 2 surviving brothers petitioned the probate court to be the administrators of her estate. They closed the estate 12/2010, all documents were accepted by the probate court and monies (after expenses were paid) were dispersed to the heirs-at-law ( the 2 surviving brothers , 1 surviving sister, and the children of another deceased brother and me, my mother is deceased). I received a letter from them today explaining that they did not consider taxes being due on any of my aunt's retirement accounts or life insurance. They have chosen to pay these taxes out of my grandfather's trust account (he is deceased and his estate has not been settled yet). They are requesting that I return a portion of my funds to 'pay back' my grandfather's trust account. In my opinion, this was their error and their decision to use my grandfather's trust account to pay it. Am I obligated to return these funds? Also, would they legally be able to deduct the amount from my portion of my grandfather's estate once it is settled?

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Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Your situation is too complex to answer on this type of a site. I suggest you consult with an experienced estate attorney at once. However, if a distributee is awarded money and then the Executor/Administrator discovers there was more tax due and seeks a repayment of part of what was received, that is usually acceptable and enforceable. However, because they took the money from another estate, that is where it can get very questionable and why you need to speak to an attorney right away.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/1/2011
Apple Law Firm PLLC
Apple Law Firm PLLC | David Goldman
Did you aunt, live in Florida? If so the PR is personally responsible for the taxes that are due if they are not paid. We would need to know more facts to see how the estate was probated and where to tell you an answer.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 5/2/2011
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