Q: My family has been trying to settle an estate in probate (no will) for over 5 years. All debts have been satisfied.
The attorney (friend of one heir) keeps returning to court, has not expeditiously settled this and does not relate information to the heirs. He insists it’s due to IRS tax due but the payment was recently returned from the IRS to the estate administrator. Please advise how we can finish this. There are two sides of a family involved and it seems that this attorney had more authority than he should over the outcome. The administrator is unversed in the details and goes along with whatever the attorney says.
A: It is difficult to answer your question. When the administrator was appointed, the court would have ordered the estate as supervised or independent. If supervised, then the administrator is responsible to file an inventory and regular accounts. It does not sound as if that has been done. Anytime the supervised administrator fails to perform required tasks, then an interest party may file a petition or citation to remove the administrator or file a petition for the administrator to show cause why tasks were not performed. This would also be the case in independent administration - the administrator would still be responsible to file an inventory. Based upon the passage of time, it sounds like final reports and final accountings should be prepared and notices of same given to the interested parties. If nothing is happening, then one of the interested parties needs to step up and petition the court for relief. Of course, there have been delays in proceedings due to covid, but that has only been since March. I hope this helps. - Bryan.
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