Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
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Can you tell me when the probate case was actually opened?
Have you sent sister any written requests for an inventory of assets and any initial accounting?
Not exactly. It would be the date that she filed a probate case to open the estate and appear in front of a judge to be formally appointed as executor.
Do you think it could be in January when the attorney contacted you?
Ok, then in HI, there is a 4 month "creditor claims" period where any creditor can file a claim against the estate for payment. So if it was May when she filed, then that period wouldn't expire until sometime in September. No executor would distribute assets prior to this time expiring because they could be personally liable for any debts if they distributed assets and then a creditor filed a claim.
With that said, you have a right to a copy of any inventory of assets that was filed with the court. So you can send her a certified letter requesting an update as to the status of the estate and for a copy of the inventory so you know what is in the estate. An executor has a duty to keep beneficiaries reasonably informed as to the progress of the estate so she would have to comply. If she didn't, you could file a "motion to compel" in the court where the case was filed to force her to appear and explain to the judge why she was violating her fiduciary duties to the beneficiaries.
You are very welcome. Glad to help any time..
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