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Does the attorney for an estate have obligation to provide information to the heirs if they are not the executor of the estate?

Ford City, PA |

A law suit has been filed - attorney for estate will not answer questions of the heirs and the executor is not providing any information

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Attorney answers 3


It probably depends on what information is requested. The executor has the duty to account for his or her administration of the estate. To safely conclude the administration, the executor has to provide that accounting to the heirs and either 1) get them to agree to it or 2) present it to the court with notice to the heirs and opportunity to object and seek surcharges. The court will then decide whether to accept the accounting a discharge the executor. It is probably in the best interest of the executor and the attorney to comply with reasonable request for information to make the process run smoothly. Stonewalling raises a red flag in my opinion. One possible remedy is to file a petition seeking to remove the executor. This is a somewhat extreme measure. The Register of Wills file is open to the public for inspection. You may find some of the information you seek there (for instance and inventory of the estates assets, and inheritance tax return which lists estate assets, debts of the decedent, administrative expenses etc. You don't say what the lawsuit is about or how it involves the estate. You should consult with a seasoned probate attorney.



Thank you - the lawsuit is against the USPS - a mail truck backed up and killed my mother.

Thomas J. Wagner

Thomas J. Wagner


So sorry to hear that. The file for the lawsuit is also available in the prothonotary's office or clerk's in the court it was filed in.


Mr. Wagner offers a good answer as usual.

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.


Technically the attorney for the estate represents the executor, not the beneficiaries. So it's not surprising that an attorney for the estate does not respond to questions from beneficiaries. However, estate administration is ultimately open to inspection by the beneficiaries, so it's often a good idea to answer beneficiary questions and keep them happy. You should be able to review the pleadings in any law suit that was filed. You'll at least know what the allegations are and you may get some indication of what damages are being sought against the estate. You should check first with the Register of Wills office and then the prothonatary's office to obtain a copy of the lawsuit and any answer to the complaint. If you still have questions, you may want to hire your own attorney to explain things to you and perhaps get more information. As a professional courtesy, most lawyers will at least give your lawyer some basic information about what's going on. That may be all you really need.

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