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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55442
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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My husband and his siblings have are named in the inheritance

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My husband and his siblings have are named in the inheritance of a close family friend. She died in December 2010 leaving her whole estate to the 5 siblings. She made my husband's sister the executor. Basically, the sister does not get along well with her 4 brothers and since the friend's death she has become even more distant. She will only respond to the brother's questions by email and is always very vague when they make inquires regarding where the process is and how much longer before the estate is settled and the funds dispersed-it has been 2 1/2 years. The home itself was sold over 1 year ago. My husband seems to think he is not allowed to speak with the lawyers handling the estate since he is not the executor. He thinks the executor is the only one he can get answers from and she is not talking. Is this true?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. That is not correct. Simply because the sister is the executor does not mean the estate and its assets are her personal piggy bank. The sister, as 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. If the executor fails to produce the inventory, periodic accounting, or fails to timely administer the estate, you can file to have the executor removed for breach of fiduciary duty. If there is any misappropriation of estate assets or funds, you can also ask the court to award actual and punitive damages against the executor. As a beneficiary, your husband has every right to contact the sister and the attorney for the estate.

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Thank you so much for the positive rating! I appreciate having had the opportunity to serve you! If I can be of assistance to you in the future, just look me up and I will be happy to help! For easy access, my bookmark is:
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Is 2 1/2 years an unusually long time for this type of situation?

Thanks for following up. Yes...only a very complicated estate should take more than a year.