Can my sister who is PR of my mother’s estate, withhold monies that were given to me by my mother and are not part of the estate?

UPDATED: Aug 2, 2011

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Can my sister who is PR of my mother’s estate, withhold monies that were given to me by my mother and are not part of the estate?

My mother’s estate lists all 3 siblings as equal beneficiaries. My 2 sisters as Personal representatives for the estate. One year before my mother passed we sold her principal residence and she gave my one sister POA to sell the house and to settle. There is approximately $250K left in that account which was not put in the estate. However my sister says that she is not releasing those funds until the estate is closed. Since the POA died with my mother and the $250 was not put in the estate, can she continue to withhold that share which is legally mine?

Asked on August 2, 2011 Maryland


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the problems that have resulted.  She is correct that the POA died with your Mother and that she and your other sister are the only ones who can release funds held in your Mother's name.  It is unclear her WHY the funds are not part of the estate in the first place.  Whose name is on the bank account?  And your Mother authorized the funds to be given to you?  In an agreement?  In writing? I think that you should seek some legal counsel of your own here to determine the issues that are lurking in this transaction and to insure that if the funds were to be yours they come to you.  Good luck. 

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