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How long should it take to settle estate once house is sold? Is it common to have entire estate lost to legal fees?

Oak Ridge, NJ |

We've already spent 75,000 in legal fees over five months in executor battles. Don't see why it should not now be settled fast, but attorneys say it will takes months more. How could the estate not be completely lost to attorney fees?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

As much as I'd like to respond specifically and in great detail, you have provide almost no detail, other than that you've spent quite a lot in legal fees. I have no idea how large an estate it is that you are referring to, whether the assets create any complications, and what the issues are in the proceedings in which you've been involved.

Litigation tends to be expensive; that's primarily because litigation takes on a life of its own.

Good luck to you.

Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as legal advice can only be provided in circumstances in which the attorney is able to ask questions of the person seeking legal advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement.

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Posted

Since you currently have an attorney, it is unethical for anyone at this forum to comment about your situation. Sorry.

Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net . For further tax advice visit his website at www.sjfpc.com . and blog at >

LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.

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Posted

I agree with Mr. Haber's comments. You have not provided enough information.

Any answers given here do not indicate the existence of an attorney-client relationship between you and me, or between you and my firm. In order for such a relationship to develop, I must be admitted to practice in your jurisdiction, you and I must countersign a retainer agreement, you must pay my fee, and we must speak in confidence. If all of these conditions are not met, I am essentially answering a hypothetical for the purposes of discourse.

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Posted

A NJ estate can typically be administered in 12 to 24 months from the date of death assuming an Executor is appointed within the first two months after death. Please note this is a very rough estimate and the particular facts of the estate you're involved in could lead to a different estimate. Furthermore if your "Executor Battles" delayed the appointment of an executor there may be additional delays since the gathering and valuing of the assets could not begin until an Executor was in place. If you had counsel in these "Executor Battles" he/she should be able to explain in detail the timeline of a typical estate and how your proceedings may impact that timeline. If your attorney cannot answer such questions, you may need a new attorney.

If you were not represented in the prior proceedings you may want to retain counsel of your own just so you have: 1) a professional viewpoint of what's going on in the estate; and 2) peace of mind knowing that your interests are being protected.

Very truly yours,

Ed Smeltzer

P.S. — If you found this answer helpful, please click the “Mark as good answer” button below.
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Law Office of Edward J. Smeltzer II
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This answer was prepared for educational purposes only. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question.

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