How do I get an attorney to respond?

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How do I get an attorney to respond?

My younger brother passed away almost a year ago. I was named executor of his Will. From the day my brother died, the legal aspects of his estate were hendled by his personal attorney. For the firest few weeks, the attorney was working on the case cose to full time. He was working to settle my brother’s insurance policies as well as his retirement accounts. After a few weeks, the attorney became unreachable, not responding to my phone calls to his office and his cell phone. I have asked him via voice mail for sttus as well as for a financial accounting of my brother’s estate, but have had no response. My brother’s son turns 21 next month and will receive the bulk of the estate.

Asked on February 10, 2014 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If he's local, try dropping by his office in person as a first thing to do--it doesn't cost you anything, it's harder to ignore a person standing in your waiting room, and if you do see him, you can tell much from his demeanor that you won't get from correspondence or even over the phone. If he's not local or you can't get in to see him or you do see him and his response is still not responsive, then send him a letter, by regular mail and by certified mail, return receipt requested (so you can prove delivery) (and also by fax and/or email as well, if possible--again, to be able to prove delivery) re-stating how long you've been waiting for a response, the number of times (and when, how, etc.) you've tried to get a response, and that if he does not respond satisfactorially within another ten (10) business days, you will take legal action, which action may include, as appropriate, a lawsuit and/or an attorney misconduct complaint to the state bar.

If after that, he *still* does not respond, speak with another lawyer about bringing legal action and/or a complaint.


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