Must money given to a beneficiary be paid back to an estate or be used to offset a share of an inheritance?

UPDATED: Nov 28, 2013

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Must money given to a beneficiary be paid back to an estate or be used to offset a share of an inheritance?

My father-in-law passed away after a lengthy illness. My husband was the youngest of his 5 siblings. His father’s Will specified equal division of assets among the siblings, even though 2 repeatedly borrowed large sums but never repaid them. When my father-in-law was ill, but of very sound mind, my husband and I had financial challenges and he insisted on helping us. Months later he failed mentally. My husband’s sister says he said to deduct the gift he had given us from my husband’s inheritance. Nothing was put in writing or added to the Will. There’s no proof that he said such a thing, he didn’t say it to us, and there’s no documentation. Do you believe my husband can obtain his missing share of his inheritance?

Asked on November 28, 2013 under Estate Planning, Indiana


Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if there was nothing in the will about this, then the will should be followed and the estate divided equally.  If your sister-in-law is the executor of the will and is trying to do this on her own, your husband should challenge her in court.  If you can, hire a will, trusts and estates attorney in your area to challenge the administration of the will.

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