Hired lawyer to handle deceased brother's small estate ( $9000. in bank and owes $60000. on a house NOT worth that much which the bank owns now ) in August 2013. We paid $6000. in cremation and burial site. We were told by the lawyer we would be reimbursed .All this transpired in Aug. 2013 . There was no will. When should we get reimbursed ? All the lawyer tells us is he will be able to pay us SOON .
1 Answer from Attorneys
An estate often takes at least 12-18 months to wind its way through probate. A small estate might be wrapped up in 9-12 months, a complicated or larger estate might take several years. One can count on it taking >6 months since there is a 6 month period for creditors.
These types of questions are very dependent on the facts of the particular situation. They also are best directed to the attorney who is handling the estate. Generally funeral expenses will be reimbursed during the administration and estates will fully disburse within a month after the final accounting has been approved by the court.
Some questions that might affect timing: Is the estate being handled under Modified Administration? That will speed things up a bit. Has the first or final accounting been filed? If so, has it been approved? Were there any claims against the proceeds that need to be resolved? In a solvent estate, funeral expenses can be reimbursed rather quickly without waiting 'til the end but in an insolvent estate an attorney might wait. The law gives a priority for order of payment and funeral expenses come ahead of some other creditors but conflicting claims to the same money make things take longer.
I hope this general legal information helps but it doesn't offer specific legal advice on your situation.