Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Left in the lurch on parents' estate

DEAR HARRY: My parents both died in 2013. My sister and I are the only survivors. Neither of my parents left a will.

My sister is familiar with a lot of financial stuff, so I agreed to let her be the administrator of their estates. That was my mistake.

She took over like a ball of fire without letting me know what was happening in advance. With April 15 approaching, I had no indication of how my tax return would be affected.

My tax preparer got an extension to file the return. I have called dozens of times. Now, she refuses to talk about it or anything else regarding the estate: "You'll get the information when I'm good and ready."

From what I recall my parents saying, I believe they owned just their home (which was sold in November), a few stocks and a lot of CDs. None of this seems complicated. Legal fees are pretty stiff. We were quoted $250 an hour for just a consultation. Is that the only way to go?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: I don't know what the problem is, but such delays cause me to worry about everything else related to the estate. I don't like to see family squabbles. Try one more phone call first. Legal fees are often stiff, but I think she'll straighten things out quickly once she gets a strong letter from a lawyer. Good luck!

 


Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com, or write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, Pa. 19107. Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.

Harry Gross Daily News Personal Finance Columnist
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