It's a long and complicated story...I'll try to summarize.
My aunt was a widow with no children. Back in 2006, one of my uncles (her brother) tried to get her to make out a new will and get guardianship of her. Naturally, the court notified all the family members when this happened...leading to a trip through the court system which led to the court declaring her mentally incapacitated and in need of a guardian. The lawyer handling all of this chose not to let any family member be my aunt's guardian and requested that she be named the guardian, which the court agreed to. The lawyer felt that none of my aunt's siblings, including my mother, could be trusted to be her guardian (which was blatantly untrue and another issue unto itself). In the end, my aunt was given over to some sort of guardianship service, which immediately placed her in a retirement home and forgot about her...they literally dragged her out of her house when they took her. A little over a year later, she died...apparently with no will. My uncle (the one who started all this) claimed he had a will, but eventually failed to produce it...after the laywer gave him nearly a year to do so. Several months after that, the whole thing finally went to the probate court and the lawyer was ordered to settle the estate. That was back in 2008. It wasn't until early in 2009 that she petitioned the court for permission to start selling everything.
Now, in 2010, the lawyer (when she actually returns a phone call) says that there is no more money in the estate and that she's paying debts out of her own pocket...though I'm not sure how an empty house with no utilities turned on is costing money. Of course, she refuses to provide any accounting records to show where the money went, so everyone is forced to take her word for it. I've been watching the two properties on the market since they went up for sale, and now it appears they have been sold. The only information my mother has received about these properties is that someone was interested in one of them and gave the lawyer an offer sustantially below market value. When asked if that was alright, my mother told the lawyer that she would not agree to that price. Since then, we haven't heard one word from the lawyer.
So, that's the situation in a (large) nutshell. Believe me...if I had the financial resources to fight all of this, I would. My mother tried when this first started, but it was obvious it was going to cost more than she could afford and she just wasn't able to do so. Of course, all of this could have been avoided if my aunt had made out a will, but she was very eccentric and did things her own way...which led to her dying without a will.