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Richard
Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 45999
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My brother was named the executor of my fathers estate. Its

Customer Question

My brother was named the executor of my father's estate. It's a small estate. There is a house that is not in probate, I believe, in AZ where my father was living. I have had no updates on probate/the estate in 7 months. The house has sat empty for almost 2 years since my father's passing. The attorney my brother hired will, of course, not speak to me. However, after a conversation with the secretary today, they have not been able to communicate with by brother since April. He is completely non-complaint. I don't have a lot of resources. I'm a single mom with 6 of my children still living at home. I need some advice on what I can do.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. You should take action. This estate and his assets are not your brother's personal piggy bank. If he hasn't probated the will, you can file your own petition with the court asking the court to order it produced and filed. The court will then order your brother to produce it and if he does not, he will be held in contempt of court and subject to civil and/or criminal sanctions. Once administration begins, the executor has a fiduciary duty to each beneficiary and each beneficiary is entitled to a copy of the full inventory of assets and periodic accounting of every dime in and out of the estate. A typical estate, presuming no unusual complexity should be completed with 6-9 months of the date of death. Since your brother as the executor has failed to produce the inventory and periodic accountings, and failed to timely administer the estate, you should file to have him removed for breach of fiduciary duty. If there is any misappropriation of estate assets, you can also ask the court to award actual and punitive damages against the executor.


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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your reply. I do not know all the terminology of this type of law. The estate is in probate, from what I understand. It seems to have been in this state for 22 months now. Can I hire an attorney to write to the estate atty and get an update? If I could, I would take over as the Executor and just finish this out. I worry that my children will end up with nothing that my father left for us.


 


Thank you,


 


Linda

Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for following up. Yes, you should engage a lawyer to write the letter and demand an update within a short specified period of time. Let him know if he fails to respond and/or to get this estate closed shortly you will be taking the actions I referenced above. And, if he has misappropriated anything that should have come to you, you can collect against him personally.
Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 45999
Experience: 29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
Richard and 2 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.
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