What is the procedure for getting letters testamentary?

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What is the procedure for getting letters testamentary?

Son appointed trustee of his father’s Will. Father passed away. Mother gets son to sign documents making her a trustee. Mother then passed away. Her Will stating that everything is for the 2 sons, 50/50. Trust still in effect; cannot access without letters of testamentary according to Mother’s lawyer. Paid him $2,500, plus $600 per month in the last 4 months to get these letters. Still waiting. Is this correct procedure?

Asked on August 9, 2011 New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss and for the ensuing problems.  It is very difficult to say here what is correct and what is not without being able to look at the entire situation.  Some estates take a very long time to sort out depending on the circumstances.  So is it possible that it has taken this long to have the sons appointed fiduciaries?  Maybe.  And you agreement as to the funds paid as retainer, etc., needs to be reviewed.  Generally estate work is done on a percentage basis (3% of the gross estate). But you seem very uncomfortable with what is going on so I would suggest you seek a consultation from another attorney to put your mind at ease.  And you can go down to the court and take a look at the file yourself.  It is a public record.  Good luck.


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