What to do if after 6 years an estate hasn’t been closed?

UPDATED: Apr 18, 2012

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What to do if after 6 years an estate hasn’t been closed?

My sister has taken all this time on my father’s estate. The IRA has been split and a portion of the investments distributed. We came to an agreement about 2 pieces of beach property but this has not been finalized, as in transferring into our names and her paying equity for the more expensive of the 2 parcels. There is also a house which she keeps “trying” to sell by finding people interested because she is too cheap to pay an agent. And the remaining investments are still on hold. I want to sue her for lost value on the house and force closure of the estate.

Asked on April 18, 2012 under Estate Planning, Virginia


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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the problems that resulted.  The time frame to probate an estate can vary from state to state and it will definitely vary on the amount of work that it takes to probate the assets.  More assets equals more time to transfer and probate.  Although 6 years is a bit of time that may give rise to a red flag, it may not have been a breach of fiduciary duty on her part.  You will need to speak with an attorney on your own dime as to the matter.  Good luck.

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