After the court has decided on the case and money paid to PR, can the PR start the process over?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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After the court has decided on the case and money paid to PR, can the PR start the process over?

My mother’s estate recently went through probate court the personal

representative has the funds from the sale of her estate in the bank. Now the

personal representative refuses to distribute the funds to my siblings and I

because she thinks the lawyer is charging to much. However, none of us were ever notified that she was going to do do this. Is this possiable?

Asked on March 28, 2018 under Estate Planning, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

No, the court does not proactively check the attorney's bill: that is a private matter between the client (in this case, the estate, through the personal representative) and the attorney. The court will adjudicate disputes that come before it, but does not affirmatively manage the probate process or do accounting for the estate. What you can do is if you feel, as a beneficiary, that the PR is improperly delaying distribution of the funds is bring a legal action for an "accounting": this is a legal action in which you ask the court to make the PR "account" for her handling of the estate. The court can determine what should be paid (to attorney and beneficiaries) and order its distribution...but you have to initate the process by bringing it to the court; the court will not take it upon itself to do this for you. If there already a case in the probate court, you should not have to file a new lawsuit, but should be able to file a motion within the existing case to seek the accounting and move the process along. Contact the clerk of the court for information.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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