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Old 08-06-2013, 02:31 PM
 
Location: NC
720 posts, read 1,484,393 times
Reputation: 1072

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I'm posting this here because of the wealth of experience and solid information I've found on this forum. It'll probably get moved though.
Here goes: 6 children, one is executor with axe to grind. All in local area. Mother with Alzheimer's passes away. Will was filed past legally allowed time, judge gives executor "a pass". Executor goes through mother's house, disposes of all clothing--judge lets it pass, cautions Executor not to repeat. No communication for several monthes, then an inventory is sent, "if you want anything in house, I'll tell you what it will cost you". DH and I purchased used car for our granddaughter, Blue Book value.
Items are noted to be missing from the inventory, daughter has photos for proof. Almost a year after the death, a son discovers house taxes have not been paid. Three children pay $300.00 for an attorney to write a polite letter asking about this, and about an update on the expenses (small house utilities, funeral, insurance etc and income--E. claims he paid for Mom's engagement ring and gave it to his sister)
Received is a notice (no date) that there will be an estate sale of house contents, but no other information.
Also mention of a future tag sale of remaining items, but no other info. Attorney will pursue this if given a $5000 retainer. The three siblings decline.
Seen in the paper a month ago that the house has sold and the amount sold for.
This is probably one of the worst instances of a family feud over a very tiny estate.
How long after the house closing are the funds usually dispersed?
The executor made his sister wait 1 1/2 years for 2 afghans she had made for her mother. Basically the executor and 2 siblings cleaned the house out of what they wanted, because one lived rent free with Mom for 22 years he was allowed to dictate who came and went.
(this is DH's family, I've been married 38 years)
When my grandfather passed, we all received regular updates on the proceedings. This all just seems so twilight zoneish to me, I never realized an executor had such leeway.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:30 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,135,316 times
Reputation: 22373
I can answer one part . . . the money is disbursed AT CLOSING. Is that what you meant? As for the executor sending you your part, that should have been done in a timely manner but as far as laws - each state is different. Was it put into some kind of trust account?

You could always seek out another attorney - call and ask upfront if you can get in with a lower retainer . . . and explain that this is a small estate but you need some help. I think that was awfully high on the retainer fee. I would shoot for no higher than $2500. Did anyone try to negotiate w/ the present atty as to the retainer?

As long as people are getting away with it, don't be surprised how much leeway someone may take, lol.
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Old 08-06-2013, 05:59 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,964,817 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by poodlecamper View Post
When my grandfather passed, we all received regular updates on the proceedings. This all just seems so twilight zoneish to me, I never realized an executor had such leeway.
There are a few excellent books on "executors of estates." One is by "Dummies." Before paying a lawyer, read one of these to get an overview. It's not uncommon for executor (if an inheritor) to get a larger portion for his "trouble." That said, you don't want to get in hock with attorneys who are only too happy to take your money over a relatively small estate. You could stand to lose more than you gain. If it were me, I'd let the material items go, not worth it. I'd look at pursuing legal action only over a significant amount of money or property.

ETA: The only reason I can think of for the disbursements to take so long is if the estate has to go through Probate (significant time an atty cost). Line up your questions for a free consultation hour with an atty.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:02 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,223,984 times
Reputation: 14870
poodlecamper -

I was trustee/executor for my Mom who passed away in January this year. I recently sold her house. I disbursed the house proceeds as soon as escrow closed and the funds hit the bank.

All of her accounts (except one) were disbursed within 6 months of my Mom's date of death.

I've kept one bank account open in case of "whatever", and have told the others (there's 3 of us) that the last monies will be sent out after taxes are done in April 2014. I don't expect the Trust to owe anything, but the other beneficiaries know I'm a "just in case' type of person.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,355 posts, read 3,689,532 times
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I would contact the court and tell them you would like them to order an accounting as you fell that all assets may not be properly accounted for.
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Old 08-06-2013, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,920 posts, read 83,551,069 times
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We are having some frustration over my step moms estate, but not because of anyone holding anything back, it is just complicated and for some reason she decided to have both a trust and a will. Mom died in Sept of last year, we have almost all her assets in the accounts now and the attorney has filed for a probate court date. We are still being told it will be Jan to March before everything is settled and the funds are distributed. My niece is executor and trustee. All this is taking place in Los Angeles county, which apparently is part of the problem. I guess the courts are really backed up. Needless to say we are very frustrated.

I will add, apparently things in the home or in storage, whatever is not really part of the estate, but considered personal property and can be distributed in anyway the trustee sees fit. At least that is what our papers say. It might not seem fair, but I guess that is the way it is, at least in California. Every state is different.

As for being kept up to date, yes, it should be done, but again, it is not always done that way. When my dad died, there was an attorney who was the executor and another attorney in charge of the estate. If I hadn't kept in contact with both we would never have known what was happening.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:05 PM
 
Location: NC
720 posts, read 1,484,393 times
Reputation: 1072
The executor told an in-law he's going to take the fee he's entitled to , to get back at a brother who "made him open the estate" whatever that means. Apparently he sees being the executor as his chance to hurt some of his siblings. Funny part is, this is the brother whose family spent holidays, birthdays, etc with our family. We are really flabbergasted at his attitude and actions. I guess you can never really know someone. His daughter went to WDW with our family 2 years ago--it's not like we ever had any bad feelings or words in 38 years. But I guess HE did.
Now that he's received the house sale money, I wondered how long he could hold on to it.
I'm executor for my Mom (another small estate) and did buy a book to educate myself. Plus I was one of 11 heirs of my grandfather, so have some experience from that end.
So sad.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:06 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,223,984 times
Reputation: 14870
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
We are having some frustration over my step moms estate, but not because of anyone holding anything back, it is just complicated and for some reason she decided to have both a trust and a will. Mom died in Sept of last year, we have almost all her assets in the accounts now and the attorney has filed for a probate court date. We are still being told it will be Jan to March before everything is settled and the funds are distributed. My niece is executor and trustee. All this is taking place in Los Angeles county, which apparently is part of the problem. I guess the courts are really backed up. Needless to say we are very frustrated.
Sounds like she didn't have all her assets in the trust, if you're still having to go thru probate. Major bummer

And yes, Los Angeles county has a problem with back-up in all their departments. That was our longest wait - it took over 8 weeks to get the death certificate. And ya basically can't do *anything* without a death certificate. A friends' relative passed away around the same time as my Mom - but in a neighboring county to the east of LA. She got the certificate in 5 working days. Pfffft.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
71,920 posts, read 83,551,069 times
Reputation: 41736
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gandalara View Post
Sounds like she didn't have all her assets in the trust, if you're still having to go thru probate. Major bummer

And yes, Los Angeles county has a problem with back-up in all their departments. That was our longest wait - it took over 8 weeks to get the death certificate. And ya basically can't do *anything* without a death certificate. A friends' relative passed away around the same time as my Mom - but in a neighboring county to the east of LA. She got the certificate in 5 working days. Pfffft.
We are still trying to figure out why she did it that way. The interesting thing: she split the distribution % the same in the will and the trust and she had them drawn up on the same day. No one can figure this out. As for the death certificates, I think we got hers a little faster, but is was still weeks. Too bad, when we moved her from NO CA to So CA we didn't find a place in Ventura County instead of just a few miles away in L.A. county. The only positive thing is: when probate was opened we were told it would take about 3 months to get the probate date, it only took about 6 weeks. We are hoping now, the long wait to settle the probate will be a little shorter than the prediction. The original probate date was Jan 2, 2013.
We have rolled the trust funds into the will portion so the entire distribution will be done at once.

Puddlecamper: my niece is going to take the funds she is due for being the executor as well. but I am not terribly upset about that part. Would I like to see her not? Sure!!!

It does seem like you are getting the royal run around.
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Old 05-04-2014, 04:09 PM
 
Location: NC
720 posts, read 1,484,393 times
Reputation: 1072
Hi, me again. Well, we received(4 weeks ago) a letter from the attorney, the estate is wrapped up, and it stated the amount to be disbursed to the beneficiaries. The house sold July 2013, death was 1/2012.
How long until the executor has to send out the checks? If this sounds greedy, well, this person has used his position unethically and will do anything he can to alienate other family members. So how long can he get away with holding back the checks?
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