One of my family members will be the executor of the estate, and our loved one died several months ago in Ohio. The family member relayed they would begin handling everything in several months due to time constraints. I contacted them and now they have moved the date a few more months out, saying they are "busy". How long do they have to file the will? And then, how long do they have to execute/distribute assets and sell property and complete distribution to those named in the will? Is there anything I can do to help move the process along since I am named in the will?
Estate Planning Attorney
You likely can hire an attorney and force probate open and force the executor to produce the will. The cost of this would often be out of your pocket. There is no set time limit for when probate must be open or distribution complete.
You should repost this summary using Ohio as a location, in order to get responses from Ohio attorneys. Many attorneys subscribe to questions posted only in their state.
Many states have laws that allow any interested party to petition for probate if the nominated personal representative (executor) does not act within a certain period of time. You should consult with an Ohio probate attorney to determine what your rights are and how best to proceed. It sounds like if you continue to wait for this person to free up their schedule, you may end up waiting for quite some time. Probate matters do not generally improve with age.
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In our state we would file a Petition to require administration. This would force them to file the will and open the estate within a finite time or you as an heir could open the estate.
Legal disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. I am admitted to practice law in the State of Missouri only, and make no attempt to opine on matters of law that are not relevant to Missouri. This answer is based on general principles of law that may or may not relate to your specific situation, and is for promotional purposes only. You should never rely on this answer alone and nothing in these communications creates an attorney-client relationship. less
I agree with the other lawyers. It is suspicious when this type of thing happens. It may be a way to avoid claims of creditors [at least that sometimes happens in Tennessee] or to give someone time to loot the estate. "Busy" is not likely to be an honest answer.