How to get a lawyer to act.
August 10, 2018 5:49 PM   Subscribe

I am the personal representative for my aunt who died last December. According to her will, the money left in her estate is to be distributed to three heirs. This is taking place in Oregon where all that's needed is the processing of a small estates affidavit by the court. The small amount of money involved does not require it to go through probate. I contacted a local lawyer in December 2017 who agreed to take care of this. But now the lawyer doesn't respond to my emails or answer my phone calls. I live across country and cannot just drop in to his office. My question is why after almost 8 months, this routine and simple procedure could be taking so long and what can I do to get him to speed things up.
posted by NinaLee to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
But now the lawyer doesn't respond to my emails or answer my phone calls.

Get another lawyer.
posted by JimN2TAW at 8:04 PM on August 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

After you get that other lawyer, consider contacting the Oregon State Bar and report your current lawyer. It's an ethical duty for a lawyer to communicate with his/her client. Your complaint may protect future clients from greater abuses.
posted by ferdydurke at 9:29 PM on August 10, 2018 [10 favorites]

If the lawyer isn't responding to you at all, get a new lawyer.

Consider reporting the old lawyer to the bar for failing to keep in touch.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:25 PM on August 10, 2018

Not that this changes the answer for what you should do in the matter of your aunt's will, but are you sure that the lawyer themselves hasn't also died or is in the hospital or something like that? Is there any office person who you are able to contact?
posted by XMLicious at 11:41 PM on August 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

My experience is with Wisconsin, but you should be able to contact the Register in Probate or probate court to find out where things stand with your aunt’s will. I know you said it doesn’t need to be probated, but they are the same people who would process the estate affidavit.

Court staff are generally well acquainted with the lawyers in their jurisdiction, too. They won’t recommend anyone, but they could probably tell you if yours fell down a well, and give you a list of others to choose from.

Most people don’t have any experience with this kind of thing so court staff gets used to helping folks through the paperwork. They can be a good resource for you.
posted by probably not that Karen Blair at 5:34 AM on August 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

« Older Tooth extraction and bone graft and marijuana   |   I want to learn how to tailor my own clothes Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.