First let me thank all of you for your sound advice.
The main concern the heirs have is being able to put the house on the market (whether it sells or not at least we are not waiting 6 months for the close of probate) while the estate is still in probate.
The consensus seems to be that as the executrix and court appointed Representative, my mother could sell the house, cars, etc. and keep any money made by these sales in an account to be distributed after probate is closed.
In fact Mom just received a letter from the lawyer today saying that he had (finally) filed the relevant probate forms with the clerk and was awaiting acceptance from the judge.
Frankly I'm surprised that the lawyers seem so unaware of the concept of selling property while in probate, as long as that money is not distributed til all claims against the estate (there are none) are settled.
Again the main thing is that they just want to be able to put the house on the market (and perhaps have an estate sale) without sitting on their hands for 6 months while probate grinds along.
If, as someone had suggested, we decided to fire this lawyer and go with someone else I'm assuming we would have to pay his fee that he estimated on the initial contract.
While the "head" lawyer isn't a young man, his associate (to whom he always confers and is the lawyer who actually filed the papers with the Court) is a younger man. The "head" lawyer was recommended to us by the lawyer who originally drew up my Grandmother's will. He even attended her funeral, but apparently doesn't know much about probate.
Is it legal to seek advice from another attorney about how she should proceed from this point, either on or off the record?