Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

Executor's not doing his job

My Mom passed in July,2002. My brother is the executor. Probate was filed within a few months. He and I are to split the estate 50/50. He sold her home and has not done a thing since that. I am told the money from the sale is in a court trust fund. We do not get along so he won't answer my phone calls nor the probate attorneys calls,

regarding the sale of the estate. I hired a attorney because of conflicts, and he did nothing for me other than relay messages to me (stating my brother could not be contacted and was not responding to calls from the probate att.) to the tune of $1200.00. I have fired my attorney and want this probate to be completed. Should I go directly to the Judge? Do I file a complaint myself? He is intentionally ignoring the probate. How can a court not ask for him to show cause as to why nothing has been done for this long? July of 2003 was the last hearing and that was for the sale of the house. There are no pending hearings and it listed as active. I gratefully appreciate any advice you can offer. I need direction!

Asked on 1/26/06, 12:08 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Edward Ardzrooni Law Offices of Edward Ardzrooni

Re: Executor's not doing his job

Dear Inquirer:

I can understand yoour frustration.

You can do at least 2 things, both of which require that before you do them you document in writing as much of the history of the derelictions of your brother, of your previous attorney, and (if there were any) the derelictions by the attorney for your brother.

You can take action to have the court require your brother and his lawyer finish up your mother's estate prmptly and properly,

You can have it determined whether your former attorney over-charged you for his services. If it is determined that he overcharged, you will be entitled to some refund.

You can take the action yourself, but youo shold be guided by an attorney as at least a "coach" so that you don't get snarled in further delays and so that the history of the derelictions is properly presented to the court for a reversal of fortunes and correction.

Further, if your brother did not invest the house sale proceeds properly, he can be surcharged.

If you like, I can furnish you some one-on-one consultation. Best is (if possible) for you to e-mail me a copy of one of the probate court papers so that I will have some documentation at my fingertips.

If you e-mail me, use this address:

[email protected]

Be sure to include your telephone number so that I can phone you to discuss with you this orally.


Edward Ardzrooni

166 Santa Clara Ave.

Oakland, CA 94610

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Answered on 1/26/06, 2:19 pm

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