There are no hard-and-fast rules as to how long an estate can remain open. In Broward County, where I practice, the judges generally stamp the Letters of Administration with an order that the estate must be closed within a year (unless the estate requires a federal estate tax return be filed, then it's two years). Motions to extend the time to close an estate are generally granted. If you have an interest in the estate you can file an objection to the motion for extension and tell the judge why you are objecting. Interactions with family members that involve judges and courthouses generally lead to hard feelings.
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The prior attorney offers sound advice. 10 months is really not a long time for an estate administration and the risk of family conflict should definitely be weighed in the balance here. A little more patience may yield better family relations.
Hope this helps.
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Your question raises many issue. The most important seems to be your focus on family harmony. Unfortunately, other than asking nicely to the PR, there is not much you can do if you are concerned with the way your family will respond. The only thing you really can do is to file an objection to the the PR's actions with the court.
The PR is breaching their duty, but you have to weigh you options. While 10 months may seem like a long time, it really isnt in the probate process. You have to decide how long you are will to put up with this for family harmony purposes.
Regardless, you may want to consult an attorney in the county where the probate is being conducted. You may find an attorney willing to give you half hour of their time.
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