The most important fact you note here is that the house sold in December 2012. That is obviously what held things up. VA has one of the more serious probate scenarios out there and and based on a few estates I've seen there, a reasonable sized estate in VA always needs probate court approval of costs before bequests are paid out. Have you asked the attorney for a better idea of the schedule and when any court dates are? That should answer your question.
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: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/