What happens if an estate is not finalized?

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What happens if an estate is not finalized?

I’m executor of my moms estate. She passed away 7 years ago and the lawyer handling estate passed awat the following year. There was nothing left in estate for anyone to collect anything. Her car was exempt and that was it. I have received two letters from the Clerk of the Circuit Court in the past 6 months asking to finalize her estate with the court. Are there any legal ramifications if this does not get finalized? Letters to creditors sent by lawyer stating nothing left in estate.

Asked on September 28, 2011 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  It would be advisable for you to try and comply with the law and to submit to the court some form of the document that they need to finalize and close out the estate. You may not have to file anything formal given the circumstances here.  I would go down and speak with the court attorney about your options.  Court clerks are also a good source of information but they can not give legal advice on a matter.  If the time for creditors has passed then you can file estate returns - if required - and out the mater to rest.  You do have a fiduciary duty here and it is not one that you should ignore.  Good luck.  


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