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I am the executor. I asked the lawyer about filling out the form that says what moms asserts are. She said she fills that out. I know a notice goes in the newspaper to let creditors know mom died and gives them time to claim their money from estate. Mom died two months ago and lawyer didn't say anything about me putting notice in newspaper. I guess she does that. How much does the lawyer do and how much do I do? Also, how long does it take to settle a Estate that's technically large. But on the low end. Barbara

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How long it takes to settle an estate depends on many factors. If the estate is below the estate tax threshold (well over $5 million, now), then the minimum length of time is determined by the number of months your state allows for creditors' claims to be filed. Some states have a six-month period, although most require you to wait at least one year.

The estate attorney will help the executor get appointed as such and help them prepare the accounts and inventory, etc. Releases from all beneficiaries must be obtained, indicating they received what they were supposed to get under the will (or, if no will, according to the state law).

I hope that helps!
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The attorney can get into databases that you can't. By entering SS#'s and date of birth, they can instantly access bank, insurance, savings bonds, stocks, real estate, etc. and often family members have no idea these things existed. Trying to do that on your own is virtually impossible, you can't get into the databases.
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It usually takes at least a year to settle an estate often up to two years.
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In Texas, the notice is placed in a specific publication that all the court watchers read, not the local newspaper. My attorney handled that. My brother was willing to waive an inventory so we did not have to publish that either. You should feel able to ask your attorney the same questions you asked here. I dealt with the life insurance policies and the renaming of other assets. My attorney just handled the legal stuff.
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It all depends on how complex the estate is.... my grandparents estate included a successful business, but the grown children were at odds with each other, and one daughter caused the estate to drag out for almost 10 years with lawsuits because she wasn't happy with what he got. Hopefully that will not be the case for your Mom's estate.
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When my mother was alive she did a will basically leaving everything to her 4 children equally. This was done 15 years before she died. I was named Health Care Proxy and my other sister was named POA and when my mother died my sister became executrix. My mother had her home and some money. When my mother died. My sister had an assessment of the value of the house. I lived in her home for 2 years. Three weeks after she died a noticed was put in the newspaper. My sister is an accountant and for 2 years had to keep track of all money put in and money out of my mother's estate. Until I decided to move and put then before I moved we put the house up for sale. We where lucky we sold the house in 3 weeks. It took 3 months before I moved. To finally sell the house we had to put in a new septic system. The system cost 20k plus we had to add all the work that was done on the house after my mother's death. The value of the house at the time of my mother's death and when we sold the house. The value of the home had risen 40k which was the taxable income for her children/ estate. Any work we did on the house we could write off. The septic system was a 20K plus we did some work in the basement. Our taxable income was very little when the house was sold. The proceeds from the house we paid the taxes at the time the house was sold. My sister followed the guide from the lawyer. To protect ourselves we put the estate into a trust. At the end it did take time. My sister is an accountant/bookeeper. She kept good records of my mother assests. She then had to put it all together and give it to another account in the law office. Everything of the past two years had to be perfect. The monies in and out of the house for the past two years. Our taxable income any money from accounts which we paid taxes. Then once it was checked. It was submitted to the IRS and it was checked again. To our surprise the IRS went back many years on my parents tax returns to make sure everything was done correctly. This caught us by surprise. We would be responsible for our parents tax returns. We could not close my mother's estate until the IRS had finished. It took time. But, we again where lucky. Once we had put her home up for sale and the work we needed to do. The sale, write offs on 40K and taxes where paid and the bookkeeping the finishing up with the IRS. We finally close the estate in 9 months. I am assuming this is a federal laws. Her estate was in the state of Massachusetts.
And the time it was
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My mom died Aug 2015 and when I called a lawyer in that state where she died months later, I believe Feb 2016 he couldn't even find any "notice" of her death. I couldn't get to her funeral due to distance. I finally found a legacy dot com announcement. That was it. Her will was cut and dry, but apparently one of the executors wants to delay and stall payments to me as much as possible.
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When my mother died the notice for creditor went into the newspaper 3 weeks after she died. It was in the local newspaper where she lived. You need the notice so it can be filed with the will. If the estate is small and you have a house. Creditor can put liens on the house. Especially Nursing Homes if your loved one was on Medicaid. We had it in the newspaper for 3 weeks.
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@pamstegma, I hope what you say about "the attorney" having access to "databases" that allows them to see personal financial accounts is not true! Perhaps you mean the attorney with whom the deceased already had a relationship and to whom they gave all the login IDs and passwords to their accounts? (No-one should ever do this!) Yes, it is possible to get real estate ownership and financing information online, but anyone can access this, not just lawyers. The processes and forms for handling an estate are made public by all county governments. This includes the requirements to post a notice in a paper. (For both my father and my husband, who died in two different states, the county government published the notices.) With a little research and an ability to follow instructions (and asking government employees how to fill out a required form does not constitute "legal advice"), any organized executor capable of logical thought should be able to properly execute (distribute assets) a fairly simple estate, even if "large" in terms of value and even if it involves both a will and a living trust. The law does not *require* any executor to hire a lawyer, not in any state. Since so many politicians are lawyers, making a law that requires the use of lawyers is a clear conflict of interest.
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I just want to add, regarding lawyers. I have seen many lawyers be someone's POA and Health Care Proxy. Most lawyers are jerks. They get paid to do both. I have seen old patients who are very sick and close to dying and they want you to do everything to keep them alive. By law when they want a feeding tube done. We have to send them to the ER to have it done. Medicine and Nursing knows it is wrong. This just one example. Don't give a lawyer the power to make decisions. They just want to keep you alive for profit. If you don't have a family member. Have a friend make decisions for you. When you are unable to make decisions for yourself. I have seen family members not give a damn too. I had a patient who broke her hip. I called the niece to let her know her aunt was going to the hospital. The niece's reply was just call me when she is dead. This niece was so cold. She had nothing to gain from her aunt because the aunt was on Medicaid.
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