Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New York

Is there a limit as to how long the executor of the will has to settle the estate? My mother's estate has not been settled. It is almost 3 years.

Asked on 10/07/13, 12:50 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

First, the Executor may not begin their work settling the estate until letters testamentary or preliminary letters testamentary are granted (see New York EPT 11-1.3). If that has taken place (and it most likely has at this point), the Executor must then follow the terms of the Will. It may have required certain periods of time before making dispositions. Next, the Executor should have also made public or direct announcements to any creditors. If no announcements were made, the Executor should have only waited 7 months for creditors to come forward before making the disbursements; however, any beneficiary may be required to refund a bequest if they come forward later. It is in the Executor's discretion to wait longer than 7 months if there is a reasonable need, but three years is likely excessive. You may have a claim against the Executor for Breach of Fiduciary Duty and consulting with an Estate Attorney is advisable.

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Answered on 10/09/13, 9:00 am

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