Can the executor of a Will give out cash before probate?

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Can the executor of a Will give out cash before probate?

We are waiting for paperwork to be filed by the executor/family member for probate. In the meantime can the executor hand out cash to beneficiaries if all debts are taken care of? Also since all debts are taken care of and the only thing left is cash and 1 home in the presiding county, how long will probate take?

Asked on January 6, 2012 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

Janet Brewer / Law Office of Janet L Brewer

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, the executor has absolutely no right to distribute assets to anyone unless and until there is a court order permitting him/her to do so.

In California, you cannot file a petition for final distribution of an estate until at least 120 days after the executor has been appointed.  It usually takes at least 30 - 45 days to get on the court's calendar.

So as a practical matter it usually takes a minimum of 6 - 8 months to probate an estate (even a simple one) - and that's assuming everything goes right.

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