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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 116143
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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My estranged brother hired a lawyer to handle my fathers estate,

Customer Question

My estranged brother hired a lawyer to handle my fathers estate, going on 8 months!, every time I've called to inquire concerning the status I've been put off by the same old stories. My father's will clearly states that the net proceeds will be split equally and have even a letter telling me the amount I would recieve. The lawyer in question has always had his secretary give me the same answers (excuses) as why I haven't received the check so far. Please advise me on what steps I can take at this point in resolving this. The amount is a little over $7500 so hiring another lawyer to handle this for me seems excessive? I'm 61 years old with a lot of health issues. Please help! Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
While many people believe that probate of an estate is a simple process and should be completed immediately, the fact is that it does take a little time to do so. The estate had to remain open for a minimum of 6 months, which is the notice period. Once that time passes, then depending on if there were any creditor claims or other complications with clearing up debts or estate property. Finally, the attorney needs to prepare the final tax return of the estate and make sure no taxes are due.
If the estate is only worth a total of $7500, then this estate, unless there are more complications, should have taken not more than 7-9 months and this depends also on the probate court calendar to issue the final probate order to close the estate.
It could be the attorney is now taking time for the final tax return to be completed or is waiting for the probate court, but realistically, he has only been able to do anything with the estate for 2 months, since he had to sit and do not much of anything for the first 6 months because AL requires that waiting period before probate could be completed.