No one here is going to be able to answer this question without knowing the specifics. You'll have to pay him and finish up.
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Unless your court has a self-service center with the appropriate forms and instructions, you need to pay the fees, which come from estate assets, and get the estate closed.
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I agree with my colleagues. $1,000 does not seem excessive, to close the estate.
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Lots of problems here. There is almost no reason why an estate should be under administration that long. Perhaps there are some illiquid or unmarketable assets or other very unique oddity. (example: intellectual property which is itself tied up in litigation). Absent that, you should have been done long ago. Second, in a decedent's estate, there is a presumed minimum fee based upon value of assets administered (see 473.153). The attorney can petition for additional fees if the statutory fee is inadequate. If such a filing is made, scrutinize it thoroughly. Unfortunately, it sounds like you are dealing with an attorney who doesn't spend much time in probate and is unfamiliar with normal billing procedures and may not know what final steps need to be taken to terminate administration. Don't blindly through more money at the problem.
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