Is it standard operating procedure to sign a receipt of funds and waiver of notice before you have received the funds?

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Is it standard operating procedure to sign a receipt of funds and waiver of notice before you have received the funds?

I am a beneficiary in my grandmother’s Will. I received my copy of the Will in the mail on Thursday. Included was a receipt and waiver of notice. It states, “While it may seem odd to sign a receipt prior to receiving funds, this has long been established as the most efficient way in which to provide the heirs and the court with the necessary acknowledgements in one simple step”. Is this true?

Asked on January 29, 2012 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Regardless of whether something is described as "efficient" or "standard operating procedure," NEVER acknowledge receipt of funds until you have received them and verified them (e.g. deposited a check and had it clear; counted cash; etc.). Otherwise, if you do not receive the correct amount of money, it will be difficult to prove that--after all, you will have signed an acknowledgement of receipt. Even if it arguably adds a few days or even weeks to processing, don't acknowledge receipt until you  have recept.


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