How do I get an attorney to respond?

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2014

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How do I get an attorney to respond?

My younger brother passed away almost a year ago. I was named executor of his Will. From the day my brother died, the legal aspects of his estate were hendled by his personal attorney. For the firest few weeks, the attorney was working on the case cose to full time. He was working to settle my brother’s insurance policies as well as his retirement accounts. After a few weeks, the attorney became unreachable, not responding to my phone calls to his office and his cell phone. I have asked him via voice mail for sttus as well as for a financial accounting of my brother’s estate, but have had no response. My brother’s son turns 21 next month and will receive the bulk of the estate.

Asked on February 10, 2014 under Estate Planning, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If he's local, try dropping by his office in person as a first thing to do--it doesn't cost you anything, it's harder to ignore a person standing in your waiting room, and if you do see him, you can tell much from his demeanor that you won't get from correspondence or even over the phone. If he's not local or you can't get in to see him or you do see him and his response is still not responsive, then send him a letter, by regular mail and by certified mail, return receipt requested (so you can prove delivery) (and also by fax and/or email as well, if possible--again, to be able to prove delivery) re-stating how long you've been waiting for a response, the number of times (and when, how, etc.) you've tried to get a response, and that if he does not respond satisfactorially within another ten (10) business days, you will take legal action, which action may include, as appropriate, a lawsuit and/or an attorney misconduct complaint to the state bar.

If after that, he *still* does not respond, speak with another lawyer about bringing legal action and/or a complaint.

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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