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Interim distribution

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  • Interim distribution

    I am joint executor of my uncle's will. My uncle died two years ago. Probate and tax have all been dealt with. Cash and investments are held in a solicitor's account. There is a dispute about how lifetime gifts should be accounted for when dividing the residuary estate. Barristers have been appointed. I have suggested that an interim distribution from the cash would be sensible. This would leave plenty with the solicitor to cover whatever turns out to be the outcome of the dispute. The solicitor agreed that it is fine to make an interim distribution if the other executor agrees. I have read about US courts ordering executors to make interim distributions. Are there situations where a UK court would do something similar?
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  • #2
    Presumably the other executor does not agree with making an interim distribution.
    I think that if a particular beneficiary was in urgent needs of his funds he could ask the court to make an order for an interim distribution of his share.
    Perhaps the other executor would agree if all beneficiaries gave an undertaking to make repayment if, following an interim distribution, such a repayment became necessary

    Tagging Peridot


    • #3
      Hi Maxsteam,

      I wouldn't know about US Court's powers but as far as Eng/Wales law goes
      Personal representatives should not make distributions
      until confident that assets will not be required for the payment of debts, liabilities, expenses or IHT. Beneficiaries can apply to the Court for an order that appoints the Court to deal with the administration of the estate completely or they can also apply for directions to be given by the Court, which would be the more likely in this scenario. However there are of course fees involved with this. I would suggest that if an agreement can be reached between the executors for interim payments to be made this is by far the better option.

      You are probably aware the personal representatives can be held personally liable if the estate is not distributed correctly and it is subsequently found that there is a shortfall for creditors, testamentary expenses, IHT, DWP repayments etc. It can then be difficult clawing back sums from the beneficiaries to deal with these situations.

      It sounds as if your solicitor has no issue with an interim distribution and I would hope that they have advised you on the 'safe' amount that could be paid, without causing issues further down the line.

      Beneficiaries are often grateful bearing in mind how long it may be before the whole estate may be finalised. Provided enough funds are kept back to deal with any potential issue that comes to light with the lifetime gift, including further inheritance tax that may fall due, court fees, or legal fees etc, depending on the outcome of the claim.
      I am a qualified solicitor employed by the LegalBeagles forum to provide guidance on a wide range of legal queries. I am happy to try and assist informally, where needed.

      Any posts I make on LegalBeagles are for information and discussion purposes only and shouldn't be seen as legal advice. Any practical advice I give is without liability. I do not represent people on the forum.

      If in doubt you should always seek professional face to face legal advice.


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