How Much Information Must Personal Representatives Give to Estate Heirs?
l am one of 14 heirs of my grandmother’s estate. My cousin made herself administrator, but has not done any of the duties that she is supposed to do. The attorney she hired that was paid for by everyone won’t give out any information, so we have no way of getting information about the estate. What can we do? My cousin sold the house and put the money in two estate accounts at two different banks. We have contacted her several times and never get any answers. The attorney said that we put a monkey wrench in deal and we need to just let her and the administrator handle it. In a few days it will be 70 days since the house sold. We have not received anything. Not one letter, email, or call. Is there anything we can do?
You and the other heirs are entitled to information, but not about every detail. Estates move slowly. Two months from the sale of the house is not so long. If you had said two years, or even one year, I’d be very concerned. But unless you have reason to think they’re doing something wrong, give them some time. Remember, the attorney may well be charging by the hour, so the time she spends responding to you and other heirs will deplete the estate. However, ultimately you and the other heirs will be entitled to an account showing what funds came into the account, what the estate expenses may have been, and what was distributed to the heirs. These are usually filed with the probate court upon closing out the matter or on an annual basis if the administration drags on. If after a year, the administrator has not filed an account, your best remedy will be to go to the probate court to ask for an order that such an account be produced. If you then have questions about the account, you can ask the estate attorney or challenge it in court.
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