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Thread: Settling Estate

  1. #1
    Lucy is offline Junior Member
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    Settling Estate

    What is the name of your state? Massachusetts
    My Dad passed away 7 months ago, my brother is the executor. Nothing has been done to settle the estate to date that my sister and I know about. He left a simple will, I believe, dividing his possessions, checking/savings account and home equally between us. Is there any time guidelines that an executor must follow? Do we get to see the will by a certain date? Can an executor just sit on an estate indefinately? My brother is sick with grief and has emotional issues. Does the law set time guidelines for settling estates.
    Thank you.
    Lucy
  2. #2
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy
    What is the name of your state? Massachusetts
    My Dad passed away 7 months ago, my brother is the executor. Nothing has been done to settle the estate to date that my sister and I know about. He left a simple will, I believe, dividing his possessions, checking/savings account and home equally between us. Is there any time guidelines that an executor must follow? Do we get to see the will by a certain date? Can an executor just sit on an estate indefinately? My brother is sick with grief and has emotional issues. Does the law set time guidelines for settling estates.
    Thank you.
    Lucy
    Has your brother, the executor, opened probate?
  3. #3
    Lucy is offline Junior Member
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    I don't know. What exactly does that mean? Is that public record?
    Thanks.
    Lucy
  4. #4
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy
    I don't know. What exactly does that mean? Is that public record?
    Thanks.
    Lucy
    Yes, it is public record. Call the probate division of courthouse in the county where your father was domiciled on Mon. or Tues (if closed on Mon.) and ask if the clerk if probate was opened for your father's estate. The file should be titled "Estate of ....name of your father."

    If probate was not opened, go to the courthouse with an original death certificate, open probate, and apply to be the personal representative/executor. The Personal Representative settles the estate of the deceased, by securing assests, paying final bills, and then distributing what's left to the heirs.
  5. #5
    Lucy is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks, that is easy enough. But why would I apply to be executor when I know my brother was appointed by my father? Are you suggesting that I can become executor by applying? Is there a time constraint on how long an executor has for filing in probate?
  6. #6
    BlondiePB is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucy
    Thanks, that is easy enough. But why would I apply to be executor when I know my brother was appointed by my father? Are you suggesting that I can become executor by applying? Is there a time constraint on how long an executor has for filing in probate?
    You are welcome. By applying to be executor, it will force your brother to either take action and settle the estate or resign/allow you to do so. You need to also check your state statutes regarding whether you will require an attorney for probate. This will depend on the total value of the estate. Should you not be required to hire an attorney due to the total value, you can probate using your state's small estate/family administration. Barnes and Nobles has good books about Probate.

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