What can I do to remedy this situation before he bleeds her estate dry with unnecessary billable hours? 25 Answers as of November 08, 2013

My aunt left 350K in stock to me and 6 other nieces and nephews. It was cut and dried and there was no other property or debts to resolve. It was a very simple will. It's been a year since she passed away and court records indicate the estate has gone through probate. The attorney has not released those funds and appears to be stalling. I've attempted to contact him but he is unavailable and his paralegal hangs up on me. Thank you.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Thomas C. Phipps | Thomas C Phipps
You need to check the court file and file a motion to distribute the assets to the beneficiaries.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 11/8/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
Check with the probate estate filings to see what has happened and what has been ordered. Then you can take action.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 9/20/2013
Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
You can go online and view all the court proceedings. You can also order copies of all documents filed in court. With that info, you could ask another lawyer what to do. Without more information, it's a bit hard to advise you, but if the probate has actually closed, there should be an Order of Distribution in the file. Distribution should be made promptly thereafter. The fees in a probate are set by statute, so you shouldn't worry about billable hours. A sharp letter to the attorney might be in order.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/19/2013
Christine Sabio Socrates Attorney at Law | Christine Socrates
It is never okay to ignore clients or hang up on them. I am not sure who the executor of the estate is but he/she should have a talk with this attorney about respecting and communicating with the heirs. Without looking at the events and circumstances that have occurred in this estate, it is difficult to determine whether there is neglect or overfilling. Many estates do take longer than a year but many are wrapped up under six months, each case is different. It is a good idea to be represented by an attorney to protect your rights and oversee what is happening in the estate. If the estate was a simple as you have portrayed it to be, then chances are it should have been wrapped up by now.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 9/19/2013
James Law Group
James Law Group | Christine James
Call an attorney, give the attorney the county where the probate was filed and the case number. That attorney should, at no cost to you, be able to look at the case, find out what is going on, and contact the attorney to move things forward. Of course if further work is required there may be fees, but initially you can get a lot of information for no cost, you just have to make the call.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/19/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Estate attorney fees are set by statute as a percentage of the value of the estate, and are not charged billable hours, unless there has been a court order for extra-ordinary fees earned. I suggest you check the court record to determine if an order for distribution has been granted by the court to the administrator/executor of the estate; the attorney only has a duty to respond to the executor/administrator of the estate and not the beneficiaries, which you appear to be one.. I suggest you check your antipathy for attorneys at the door; thereafter look at the court file to see the position of the estate is ready to close, or you can obtain an attorney who could represent you to do that for you; the attorney will charge you an hourly rate to conduct an investigation on your behalf, and represent you to the estate attorney who represent the executor/administrator to determine when the estate will close.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/19/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Send a certified letter to him asking for he distribution, give him 10 days advise that you will contact the State Bar if this is not resolved in 10 days., next step contact the State Bar and file a disciplinary complaint. You may need to also file in probate for him to show cause why the distributions have not been made. You should seek another attorney to assist you if you need to file in the probate. best of luck to you. This information is only intended to give general information in response to an inquiry. It does not establish an attorney client relationship. This response is only based upon the limited facts presented and is merely intended to assist you in determining if you should contact an attorney to provide you with legal advice.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 9/19/2013
    Law Offices of Robert Beatson II | Robert Beatson II
    Your matter will require careful review and analysis of the facts.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 9/19/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    You can file a Demand for Notice with the Court and petition the Court for assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    Who is the executor/executrix/personal representative of the probate estate? Contact this person and ask them why the estate has not closed out. You can also go to probate court and review the court file. Talk to the probate clerk, although they cannot give legal advice. With the information you get, and you can make photocopies of the file documents, there may be documents that show that the estate is not ready to be closed. If it is ready to be closed but still no cooperation, please see an experienced probate attorney to get legal advice. You may have to spend some money on attorney's fees in order to get the probate estate closed.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Are you the attorney's client? If not, it can be very dicey for the attorney to talk to you. The personal representative of the estate is the attorney's client. There is no "attorney for the estate," the lawyer who handles probate represents the personal representative. You should ask the person who was appointed personal representative what is going on. If the estate "has gone through probate" then you were served a Final Account (or Verified Statement) that will set forth how things are being distributed. If things appear to be stalled for no reason, petition the court for instructions; however, be aware that there may be good reason why things are delayed (tax filings and the like) and if you lawyer up and start making waves you will not only increase the cost of the process, you'll probably delay it further. Again, talk to the person who is personal representative.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    I would contact the attorney in writing and request a status report on this matter. You may be able to glean additional facts from the court file. If you do not get a satisfactory response, then it might be time to involve your own lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Contact the person who served as executor or personal representative for your aunt's estate and ask when the funds will be distributed. The attorney likely works for the executor and can only respond to him or her.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Law Office of Edward M. Burgh, APC | Edward M. Burgh
    I'd contact the Court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Law Offices of R. Christine Brown | R. Christine Brown
    File a Petition in the probate court and request that the attorney/Executor be ordered to turn over the estate assets to you and the other beneficiaries. Is it the attorney who is stalling or is it the Executor? Only the Executor has the authority to access estate assets and distribute, whereas his/her attorney does not have this authority.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    Who is the personal representative? Unless there are issues, the estate should be done now or soon. As a beneficiary, you should be getting notices and an accounting.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
    If you are the executor, then your attorney should be communicating with you. If the attorney and his office is unavailable and the paralegal is hanging up on you, then it is time to contact the State Bar of California and file a complaint. If you are not the executor, then you need to contact the executor to find out the status. The attorney for the executor is not obligated to discuss anything with a beneficiary. If the court order for distribution has been signed by the judge in the probate proceeding, there are very few tasks to complete prior to distribution. A month or 2 should be enough to get receipts prepared and make the distribution. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Danville Law Group | Scott Jordan
    The attorney's fee is a fixed fee pursuant to the Probate Code. 4% of the first $100k; 3% of the next $100k and then 2% on the balance, up to 1 million. If you believe this matter should be closed, you can file a petition for accounting with the probate court. Who is the executor of the estate? Call that person for information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    hire your own attorney to push this along, or explain to you why it is not completed and distributed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Law Offices of Robert H. Glorch | Jeffrey R. Gottlieb
    Are you the executor? It's not the attorney that releases the funds, that's the executor's job. If you're not the executor, you should contact the executor to find out what is going on. For a variety of reasons, it is not unusual for an estate to take more than a year to settle.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    The Smith Law Office; P.C. | Jason David Smith
    File a complaint with bar association.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law
    James Oberholtzer, Attorney at Law | James Oberholtzer
    Write the attorney a nice but firm letter reciting your understanding of the situation. Ask for a time schedule for the distribution. Give the attorney a deadline of one week to respond. Send it certified mail return receipt requested. If you do not get a satisfactory response, hire another attorney. Also ask the personal representative about it. He or she is responsible to get it done.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    Write him a certified letter that if he does not give you an accounting, you will file a Bar complaint. If he refuses to accept the letter, file the complaint. When you get his billing, check to see what he charged you for.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Robert E. Giffin | Robert E. Giffin CPA
    Go down to the Probate court and look at the courts file. Some small towns will answer your questions. Also you should be able from the court file see what the attorney has done.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 9/18/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    File a complaint with the bar association.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 9/18/2013
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 4 5 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney