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  1. #1

    Default Pay Myself Bills I Paid from Estate Account

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: California

    My mom passed away last year. I am currently going through probate and has been appointed as the Administrator. I am in the process of collecting all bank assets, etc. I have been paying the house insurance and funeral cost and other bills. Am I allowed to write a check from the estate account now to myself for these costs or do I have to wait until the distribution at the end?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pay Myself Bills I Paid from Estate Account

    You should be able to do it now because you are a creditor. You just have to treat yourself the same as other creditors.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pay Myself Bills I Paid from Estate Account

    Quote Quoting renovatio522
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    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: California

    My mom passed away last year. I am currently going through probate and has been appointed as the Administrator. I am in the process of collecting all bank assets, etc. I have been paying the house insurance and funeral cost and other bills. Am I allowed to write a check from the estate account now to myself for these costs or do I have to wait until the distribution at the end?

    Thanks!
    Actually, the estate administrator is not the same as other creditors and I believe that estate expenses get reimbursed off the top before creditors.

    Check the CA probate code to be sure:

    http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/fa...pter=&article=

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pay Myself Bills I Paid from Estate Account

    Quote Quoting renovatio522
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    I am in the process of collecting all bank assets, etc. I have been paying the house insurance and funeral cost and other bills. Am I allowed to write a check from the estate account now to myself for these costs or do I have to wait until the distribution at the end?

    Thanks!
    In collecting all bank assets I assume you mean that you are having those assets transferred to an established estate account with a federal EIN. You can take reimbursement for any bills you personally pay on behalf of the estate. Just keep copious records.

    Any accounts that are POD (such as bank accounts or retirement accounts) do not get transferred to the estate but are paid directly to the beneficiary (you) by the bank or the investment company. Do not deposit them in the estate account.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pay Myself Bills I Paid from Estate Account

    Quote Quoting renovatio522
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    I have been paying the house insurance and funeral cost and other bills.
    Have you been paying these things with your personal funds or with estate funds? As the court-appointed administrator, you are permitted to pay estate expenses with estate funds (although funeral/burial expenses are typically paid before probate begins).


    Quote Quoting renovatio522
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    Am I allowed to write a check from the estate account now to myself for these costs or do I have to wait until the distribution at the end?
    This is a question you should be asking the attorney you retained to represent you in the probate. If you didn't do that, you should. In my opinion, probating an estate is not a good DIY project.

    Quote Quoting MaltbyMark
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    You should be able to do it now because you are a creditor. You just have to treat yourself the same as other creditors.
    The highlighted part is correct, but most creditors don't get paid until the end of probate. The first sentence you wrote has no basis in law.

    An administrator who reimburses him/herself before the end of probate is exposing him/herself to charges of self-dealing. We're not in any position to know whether it would be advisable for the OP to do this.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pay Myself Bills I Paid from Estate Account

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    The highlighted part is correct, but most creditors don't get paid until the end of probate. The first sentence you wrote has no basis in law.

    An administrator who reimburses him/herself before the end of probate is exposing him/herself to charges of self-dealing. We're not in any position to know whether it would be advisable for the OP to do this.
    You are not close to correct here. Most creditors are paid during probate if the executor is doing their job. The executor or tirx are free to pay any bill they think is due during probate. And when an executor or trix pays bills from their own money to keep say the utilities on in a house or a medical bill from going into collection, or the insurance bill on a property, they are entitled to reimbursement and that is not in any way considered self-dealing.

    Self dealing is When a trustee engages in activities that benefit the trustee without regard for the beneficiaries. Paying debts of the estate and getting reimbursed for the expense is in no way self dealing. On the contrary. It is acting in the best interest of the estate and the beneficiaries.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Pay Myself Bills I Paid from Estate Account

    Thank you all for the quick responses!!! Really appreciate of all the inputs so far.
    To answer some of the questions, basically I am trying to determine the priority who gets what first. I have been paying to maintain the house for years including property tax, house insurance, etc. In case there are other creditors, will I be able to claim for the years of bills/expenses that I have been paying to maintain the house first before other creditors? There is no lien on the house.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pay Myself Bills I Paid from Estate Account

    Quote Quoting renovatio522
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    I have been paying to maintain the house for years including property tax, house insurance, etc. In case there are other creditors, will I be able to claim for the years of bills/expenses that I have been paying to maintain the house first before other creditors? There is no lien on the house.
    When you say you paid a bunch of expenses for "years," I assume that means at least some of those expenses were paid before your mother died. Correct? If so, you are not entitled to reimbursement unless you and she had an agreement to that effect.

    You really need to retain counsel (whose fees will be paid from the estate) because, unless you are the sole heir/beneficiary, you are looking at some real conflicts of interest.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pay Myself Bills I Paid from Estate Account

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    When you say you paid a bunch of expenses for "years," I assume that means at least some of those expenses were paid before your mother died. Correct? If so, you are not entitled to reimbursement unless you and she had an agreement to that effect.

    You really need to retain counsel (whose fees will be paid from the estate) because, unless you are the sole heir/beneficiary, you are looking at some real conflicts of interest.
    I agree with you. If those expenses were made before the death of the mother, then as an executor or administrate he may not be entitled to reimbursement without an agreement between OP and his mother.

    But anything paid on behalf of the estate after the mother's death to preserve the estate would be reimbursable.

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