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Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  Litigation Attorney with education focus on estate planning and tax
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I was guardian of my aunt who passed away July 5, 2014. The

Customer Question

I was guardian of my aunt who passed away July 5, 2014. The lawyer involved was also involved in the estates of my uncle and another aunt. However, at that time my father was alive and the lawyer was dealing with him, and........their estates were simple estates. This particular aunt whom I am speaking of has all of her assets in stock--$800,000 worth, without stock certificates (she and her husband were very eccentric, hid important things, hoarded unimportant things, etc. There are five heirs including myself. We are all thinking that this estate should have already been resolved. The lawyer always says he is working on it. However, in the last year I have deposited dividend checks,
reconciled her bank statement every month. And the only thing significant that he has done is have me appointed executrix of the estate. All the heirs are tired of waiting. I called COMPUTERSERVE, the transfer agency for most of my aunt's stock, talked with them and they told me that they would send me the paperwork for every stock they served and I could fill it out, pay a large bond to reissue lost stock certificates, send the paperwork in, bypass the lawyer and then simply call them when I'm ready to sell any stock. I have already been bonded locally in order to be appointed executrix. Safeco is the insurance company providing the bonding.
My questions are: 1) is my understanding of what Computerserve t told me correct? 2) should this bonding fee (a percentage of the value of stock) required for each and every company and stock certificate reissued; 3) can I really bypass the lawyer? and should a $800,000 estate take this l long to finalize? Any information you can provide would be immensely ap appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

What state are you located in?

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Or I guess I should say, what state is the probate in?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I DON'T HAVE TO PAY ON BOTH AN ONLINE ANSWER AND A LIVE CALL DO I? THE ONLY REASON I AM REQUESTING A LIVE CALL IS BECAUSE MY PASSWORD ***** WORK AND I AM NOT RECEIVING YOUR E-MAIL.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
HOW DO I START THE ONLINE CONVERSATION?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
IS ANYONE GOING TO CONTACT ME TONIGHT? IF SO, APPROXIMATELY HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Yes the phone call does cost more than the original question. I personally do not provide that service. I can opt out if that is what you would like and open it up to another expert but yes, it does have an additional cost.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
AN ONLINE ANSWER IS FINE IF I CAN GET ONE. SHOULD I JUST CONTINUE TO WAIT?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

If you can answer the question of what state you are located in, I can get started.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I LIVE IN ARKANSAS.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

And that is where the probate is occurring?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
CORRECT--ARKANSAS
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.

1) Yes what they told you is correct, as the executor, you do not need the attorney to distribute the funds according to the will.

2) Yes there is normally a bonding fee, that needs to be provided as well as a lost security affidavit, attesting that he lost the certificates, and you will have to post a surety bond. It`s the latter that costs money which is normally 3 percent to 4 percent of the market value of the shares involved. The lost security affidavit and surety bond go to the stock`s transfer agent. The transfer agent will issue new certificates and mail them to you. The reasons for the bonds are several, if you ever sell the stock, you are required to make ``good delivery`` of the certificate. Also, the surety bond protects the company -- meaning all the stockholders who own the company -- just in case the ``lost`` certificate shows up in the hands of someone else.

3) Yes you can bypass the lawyer, the lawyer is normally there to file documents with the court and give you advice involving the estate. Many times estates take 12 -18 months to wrap up especially if there are missing assets like you ave described here. As the executor you can work with te court and get things moving.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site. (There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 next to my answer, an excellent or good rating would be fantastic.)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
THERE IS NO WILL. DOES THAT SIGNIFICANTLY CHANGE THINGS?
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

No, it probably makes it easier as the assets will pass according to Arkansas statute. This should not effect things other then you don't have to review a possible complicated document, only be able to apply the correct statute.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if you have any further questions and please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site. (There should be smiley faces or numbers from 1-5 next to my answer, an excellent or good rating would be fantastic.)

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I see you have reviewed my answer, do you have any further questions? If not, please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated for my time by the site.

Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Any chance for a positive rating?