4 Consequences of Failing to File an Estate Status Report

When a personal representative is administering an estate that cannot be closed within a year, he may need to file a status report with the probate court. This report explains the reasons for the delay in closing the estate as well as the estimated amount of time it will take to complete. As part of this process, the personal representative must also provide notice to all of the interested parties. A hearing is then held, during which time interested parties can voice their objections to the court. The court will decide whether the delay is reasonable and justified, or it may order the personal representative to file a petition for final distribution.

Despite these requirements, some personal representatives do not comply right away. Following is an overview of what happens when an estate is still not closed after a year and the personal representative has not filed a status report:

  1. Any interested party may petition the court to obtain a status report.
  2. The court may order the status report of its own volition, requiring the personal representative to come into court in order to comply.
  3. If the personal representative still does not provide the status report, he can be removed from the position by the court.
  4. If the time that it takes to administer the estate exceeds one year, or 18 months if a federal estate tax return is required, the court can reduce the compensation paid to the personal representative.

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