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Does the executor have any say in when an estate is settled?

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What is the name of your state? Illinois

My grandmother passed away in Feb 06 and my sister is the executor. She got her own attorney and I rec'd paperwork that the will was filed, etc.

I called the attorney listed and asked general questions about length of time between filing and distribution, if there was anything I needed to (or could) do, etc.

My sister responded with a curt note saying that I should call her with any further questions, as the attorney will charge for future calls and also said this:

"The estate will be open for at least 6 months or until the lawyers and myself decide that all of Gram's affairs are settled and monies are ready to be disbursed."

Is this a correct statement? I believe she is liquidating Gram's residual assets (furniture from her home, and she might have to sell her assisted living facility residence - unless it was being rented - she won't tell me). Can she hold up the distribution? She doesn't need the money, but I could certainly use it


Thank you.

yes, I understand that there are other cases. My question is whether or not the executor (my sister) can hold up the disbursement if the attorney and court have declared the estate settled (or whatever it is they do)? I was told by the attorney that there is a 6 month waiting period from the date of filing to disbursement to allow creditors to make claims against the estate. At the end of the 6 months, if the court says 'okay, we're done' or whatever, and the attorney is ready, can the executor say 'no, wait, I'm not ready" or otherwise hold up the disbursement? If she's had 6 months to liquidate the residual assets and hasn't done so, can she use this to hold it up or will she be required to donate whatever's left so the disbursement can be completed?

thank you again

Dandy Don

Senior Member
No, and you should try to attend one or more of the probate court hearings to see how things are done. Can't you see she is just saying this to aggravate you?


You should ask these things of your county probate court or of an attorney of your own. Your sister's attorney does NOT represent you. He is on the opposing side. You probably should not consult him again, particularly if there is a possibility of litigation with your sister. Most states require the executor to file a return after a certain period of time, whether or not the assets have been distributed. Ask the probate court when that return is due. Then look at it to see if it is accurate. You can also see the will, it is on file at the court, maybe the will mentions certain assets such as the residence. If your sister has not completed the distribution by the time required in your state, you can get your own attorney and ask the court to require her to disburse the assets or give a good reason why she can't. If you are an heir (meaning you receive something according to the will), and you can show that your sister is liquidating assets without knowledge or permission of you and the court, you can file an injunction asking that the estate assets be frozen until the court determines to whom the assets belong. You need an attorney for this, it's not easy to do on your own. You can also ask the court to require your sister to post bond or be relieved of her position as executrix if you find out she is selling assets. (Usually, the court has to approve the sale of any assets before the assets are sold.)

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