Must an executor wait a specific amount of time before distributing cash disbursements from the estate?

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Must an executor wait a specific amount of time before distributing cash disbursements from the estate?

My brother-in-law was named executor for both my parents. They have now passed, and he is stating that TN law requires him to wait 6 months from the date he filed for probate and was named executor by the court before he distributes any cash to the estate heirs. Is this true? If there is a specific waiting period, how long does the law say it has to be? Or is this just a recommendation rather than law?

Asked on January 26, 2011 under Estate Planning, Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Although this question is best asked to an attorney in your area (or even the clerks of the probate court as they are very helpful in answering questions such as this one) , I can not seem to find any provision that states a six month waiting period.  But again, that is not to say that i t is not the case. What is true is that the executor of an estate has many fiduciary duties to carry out and can not distribute the assets of an estate until all liabilities are accounted for and paid out, money is set aside for taxes, etc.  And that usually takes some time even in the best planned estates. The size also has a lot to do with it as well.  If you are unsure that he is acting in the best interest of the estate and its beneficiaries (to who he has a duty as well) seek consultation from another attorney on your behalf.  Good luck.


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