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Ellen, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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How can the executor hold up selling property to settle the

Resolved Question:

How long can the executor hold up selling property to settle the will?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 9 years ago.

Please tell me what state the estate was opened in and any details that you think may be relevant.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to FLandNYLawyer's Post: New York.
The property was initially leased for 1 year to a family that agreed to buy it within a year's time once they received a settlement they were waiting for. After the year, my sister in law ( the executor ) extended the agreement for another 6 months with this family due to hardship they were having ( health problems )unbeknownst to any of the siblings on the will. It has now been over 2 years ( my mother in law passed in Dec '05 ) and none of the siblings have gotten any information or updates regarding anything on the will. This property is in a very desirable area and could have been sold to another party easily.
Expert:  Ellen replied 9 years ago.


Thank you for your question. I am happy to assist you.

Two years is a long time to complete a probate. Furthermore an executor should give the beneficiaries and the court periodic updates.

After the appointment, the executor must take possession of all of the decedent's assets subject to the probate process. After collecting all of the assets, it is necessary to prepare an inventory listing these assets.

If the estate is relatively simple and no federal estate tax is due, it should be concluded in 6-9 months. If there is an estate tax due or real property to be sold, the period will likely increase to 12-15 months. The estate should not be in probate for more than 18 months unless there is litigation or significant problems that prevent distribution.

Since you mention that over 2 years after your mother in law's death, you still do not know what is happening, the executor may have violated his fiduciary duty to the estate. You may consider a petition to have him removed.

I hope that the information which I provided was helpful to you.

Best wishes for a successful outcome. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to submit them to me directly.

Thank you,

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