What is an interim distribution?
As the personal representative of the estate, should you be making an interim distribution?
As an heir, should you be expecting one?
Interim distributions can be complicated and come with some risks.
We’ll discuss them in this article.
My name is Erik Broel. I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group.
At our firm we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex and confusing legal process so they can make sure the estate is handled properly and their loved one’s memory is honored.
An interim distribution is a distribution that is made to heirs or beneficiaries before the estate is ready to be closed.
That means that the distribution is made when either there are outstanding creditors that need to be paid, or when there is estate property remaining to be sold.
For example, if an interim distribution is made and the estate is left with insufficient assets to pay creditor claims, then that can expose the personal representative and the recipients of the distribution to liability to the creditor.
This is true even if you didn’t know about the creditor until after the distribution is made.
This type of liability is very serious.
For example, the personal representative can be liable for the full amount of the creditor’s claim.
Each recipient of the distribution can be liable for up to the amount they have received from the estate.
Since the potential risks are so large, the personal representative should carefully consider whether the benefit of making an interim distribution outweighs the risks.
If an interim distribution is to be made, then it is wise to ensure that there are more than enough assets remaining in the estate to satisfy all creditors and remaining estate expenses.
Everything discussed in this article is for general information and is not legal advice.
If you are in a situation where you’re trying to settle an estate, I recommend you reach out to our office at (770) 920-6030 to set up a consultation.
If you’re not quite ready for a consultation, be sure to download our Georgia Probate Handbook, written by probate lawyers, so you know how the estate is supposed to be handled.
Learn Important Probate Essentials, including key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.
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