If my sister passed away over 3 1/2 years ago but the attorney still hasn’t got her estate settled yet, what can be done?

UPDATED: May 27, 2015

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If my sister passed away over 3 1/2 years ago but the attorney still hasn’t got her estate settled yet, what can be done?

Isn’t this too long to wait when there isn’t much money involved? The lawyer just keeps stalling. We are wondering if this is normal practice?

Asked on May 27, 2015 under Estate Planning, Minnesota


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Since there is not much money involved and assuming that there are not many other assets of value, then 3 1/2 years does appear to be a somewhat lengthy amount of time to have not yet settled the estate.

As to the lawyer's "stalling",�a lawyer is obligated to provide�their client, in this case the estate,�estate�with periodic reports. Since he apparently has failed to do so,�the executor (or personal representative) needs�to write�this attorney a letter letting them know that the executor is not pleased with the delay. They can then ask the attorney for a face-to-face meeting (if possible) to air their grievance and ask what has been done to date�and what still needs to be done before the estate can be settled. If the executor still cannot resolve the matter, they�can contact the state bar association.


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