How long does my sister have to settle the estate?

UPDATED: Oct 2, 2022

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How long does my sister have to settle the estate?

My father passed away 9 months ago and my sister is the executrix of the Will. Everything is in a Trust except the furniture and the home. The furniture was sold at auction and those funds were supposed to go into the Trust. I was wondering how long my sister is legally allowed to take before she has to settle the estate. We both want to sell the house, but she hasn’t even put it on the market, it’s been empty for 8 months now so there is no excuse. My biggest fear is that she is just spending the trust fund to go on vacations, shopping, etc. There is a Will stating that we have to split the Trust 3 ways evenly between my sister, my brother and I. I would like

some kind of closure on this.

Asked on October 11, 2019 under Estate Planning, Alaska


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There is no defined or set time limit in the law. If, however, you, as a beneficiary, believe that she, as executrix is taking too long or is spending estate assets for her own benefit, you can bring a kind of legal action called an action "for an accounting" to make her (as the term implies) "account" for how she has managed the estate. The court has the power to order her to do or not do certain things, to repay any amounts improperly taken or diverted, or can even replace her as executrix. This kind of action can be difficult for a layperson (nonlawyer); you are advised to consult with a probate attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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