What to Do About Non-Responsive Attorney in Estate Matter?
My father passed in December 2020. He had a living trust that named my brother as his personal representative and my uncle as his alternate. My brother declined and my uncle either declined or was told by my father’s attorney that he could not serve. I am the only next of kin living in the state my father was in and I live in his house. The attorney has cancelled our last two appointments. I need to know what the time limit is on appointing a new trustee – if I qualify to do that and most importantly why the attorney representing my father told me none of this. Please, I am very concerned about dropping the ball and having something happen to my fathers estate.
First, since you wrote me in February 2021, I’d say that not much time has passed, so I wouldn’t be too concerned yet. Estate matters are like slow moving trains, they can get up and moving slowly and the proceedings may take a while, but eventually they will get to their destination.
That said, it’s unclear to me what role the attorney who cancelled your two appointments may have. He or she may not have a client if both your brother and uncle declined their roles. The trust itself should have provisions for naming a successor trustee when none exists, but some trusts fail to do so or simply say that a court will have to appoint a new trustee. So, you may have to go to court to have yourself or someone else appointed as trustee. In any case, if the attorney you’ve been trying to meet with continues to be unavailable, I would recommend finding another attorney who can review the trust and background and advise you appropriately.