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Seeking thoughts from anyone informed about estate settlement/probate issues.

My husband’s uncle died over two years ago, several states away from us. Uncle B had hired a law firm to be the executor of his estate. There are four heirs: my husband, his brother and sister, and Uncle B’s SIL, who is in a nursing home. The estate was to be divided equally amongst the four.

My husband and his brother went to visit the law firm and to take keepsake items such as photo albums from Uncle B’s home one year ago this week. At that point, the representative they saw told them that everything was through probate, and they only had to sell the house and liquidate the accounts.

In November, we were notified that a new representative was taking over the account. Again, we were told that the house needed to be sold, but that the estate should be settled by February or March of this year. The new buyers closed on the house on December 29. In January, we received copies of the paperwork that indicated the law firm was just then getting around to applying for probate for the estate (i.e. we had been lied to when we were told it had already gone through probate). We were told “May.” In May, we were told “July or August.” In August, we learned that the estate is still nowhere near being settled, because the firm had “just become aware” that there were still accounts in Uncle B’s late wife’s name that needed to go through probate.


We have no idea how much Uncle B paid this firm to handle his estate, but it is their specialty. We feel like we are being jerked around because we are so far away, and we worry that the firm is going to wipe out the accounts through months of their fees, or that accounts will be significantly devalued due to the firm pussyfooting around and not liquidating stocks and such in a timely manner.

None of us can afford to hire representation to speak to the law firm for us. I’m just wondering if anyone here has experience with this or thoughts about the situation that might be helpful. TIA!

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