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Can I ask my decease grandpa's lawyer question about when the next Inheritance distribution is?

Portland, OR |

My grandpa passed in 2008 and have been distributing money every year from his estates and property so far this year I have received nothing from the lawyer and the documents shows last year that 3 more properties needs to be sold and stock.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Sure you can ask. It sounds like the lawyer may not have any idea, however, unless the properties have been sold. The stock might be another matter, but it is generally a good idea to maintain a generous reserve to handle administrative expenses. That can be particularly true when there is real estate to maintain. So it may be the case that there is nothing to distribute at this time.

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.

  2. I agree that you should ask and see what he says. If you feel that you are not getting a straight answer or want more you may need to hire an attorney to represent your interests.

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:

  3. My colleagues are correct in that you can and should certainly ask for late grandfather's attorney about the distributions. If you are not satisfied with his answer, you may want to consider hiring your own attorney to protect your interests. Your late grandfather's attorney is not there to represent you.

    When responding to questions posted on Avvo, I provide a general purpose response based on California law as I am licensed in California. In reviewing my response, you are specifically advised that your use of, or reliance upon any response I provide is not advisable. I do not have all relevant background details or facts related to your issue / matter, thus I am not in a position to give you legal advice. Further, your review, use of, or reliance upon my response does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us nor does it qualify as a legal consultation for any purpose. For specific advice regarding your particular circumstances, you should consult and retain local counsel.

  4. Your question does not explain whether this matter is being handled as a probate or it is some type of trust. Either way there should be a person in charge - a personal representative or a trustee. On rare occasions the lawyer acts as the PR or trustee but this is generally frowned upon. If there is someone else in charge, it is that person who has the responsibility to direct the lawyer. You can certainly start by calling the lawyer.

    Also I am perplexed why this is dragging on so long. Four years is a bit long to liquidate and distribute an estate.

    If you don't get satisfactory answers you should get your own lawyer. There are ways to compel action in the settling the e4state and to get an accounting for what has been done including any attorney fees. If this is a probate there is a court file that is public record. You can go to the courthouse where it is filed and request a copy of the court file. You can also write a letter to the probate judge expressing your concerns and the Judge will usually request the attorney to respond and explain what is going on.

    The comments by this author to questions posted on Avvo are designed to foster a general understanding of what might be the law governing the area of the legal problem stated and suggest what might be the approach to finding a legal solution. Under no circumstances is this author acting as the attorney for the party who posted the question or as the attorney for subsequent readers to the question or response and no attorney client relationship is being formed. This attorney's comments are not intended to be a substitute for getting legal advice from a licensed attorney. A reader of this author's comments should never act on the information provided in these comments as though these comments were legal advice and should always seek legal advice in a personal consultation with an attorney in their jurisdiction before taking action. The information provided here is not intended to cover every situation with similar facts. Please remember that the law varies between states and other countries and is always changing through actions of the courts and the Legislature.

  5. You raise a tricky issue. The estate's lawyer is not your lawyer.

    If the estate lawyer chooses to talk to non-client heirs the following problems can arise;

    1) The estate lawyer needs permission from his or her client to talk to non-clients.
    2) If permission is given, non-client heirs can eat up a lot of time asking questions.Either the lawyer donates this time or bills this time to the estate.
    3) If the estate lawyer talks to non-client heirs with the permission of his or her client, the non-client may get the false impression that the estate lawyer is giving the non-client advice and this creates an unhappy situation if later the client and non-clients get into a dispute.

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