Skip to main content
Marc Jeremy Soss
Avvo
Pro

Marc Soss’s Answers

211 total


  • Probate Attorney Refusal to Submit an Updated Invoice, or Report

    Can an attorney refuse to give updates or and invoice to their clients until they request a payment of their fees? The client believes that the attorney is being unfair and trying to hide something. She has been making up all kinds of excuses as ...

    Marc’s Answer

    Every attorney-client relationship can be different. I would look at the terms of engagement to determine how often the attorney is required to provide client invoices. If the matter is being handled on a flat fee arrangement there may not be any invoices or descriptions of service by agreement. Once an invoice does arrive, as the client you can always challenge time entries and services alleged to have been rendered.

    Ex-parte is attending an uncontested court hearing with the Judge. Since many aspects of probate are not contested this is very common.

    See question 
  • Lawyer wants $10,000 up front for will contest. I asked for payment schedule . He has not returned my email nor called me back.

    Dads estate worth between .5 mil and 1 mil. Will made up in 2004 in PA by sister who is executor, highest paid out beneficiary, and signed witness-conflict of interest? Dad died in FL 7/15. Sister's husband is alternate executor, not immediate fa...

    Marc’s Answer

    Many attorneys request a large retainer to ensure they get paid for their efforts. It is not uncommon for probate litigation cases to be very expensive (in excess of $15,000). You may find an attorney willing to handle it for less of a retainer, but that will not change the end price for the legal services. If you are not prepared to pay a fee of that nature you should look for an attorney to handle it on a contingency basis.
    The basic facts you provided sound like a good case to contest.

    See question 
  • Do I need lawyer for summary of administration?

    Father deceased 5 years. Just under $9000 in bank. Isn't summary of administration something I could do myself? He was divorced with 3 children. No other assets. Also, is there way to find out any claims made by creditor in first 2 years of his b...

    Marc’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You are correct that under Florida law an attorney is not required for the handling of a Summary Administration proceeding. Be advised that the Clerks are not permitted to assist you and if you run into a roadblock you may end up hiring an attorney to assist you. You can check with clerk of court to ascertain whether any creditor claims were filed against his un-opened estate.

    See question 
  • Is it normal for a probate attorney to take a percent of the estate as his fee?

    I am starting the probate process for my mother's and father's estates. The attorney has proposed to handle my mother's estate for $3,500 or 5% of the estate, whichever is higher. My father's estate will be done separately for a similar, but sli...

    Marc’s Answer

    It is NOT unusual for an attorney to charge a flat fee, however, that fee is always negotiable. Make sure the fee is only based upon the value of the probate assets (homestead, joint accounts and pay-on-death accounts are not included). Unless the estate is over $1,000,000 or has a lot of issues, the total fee should not exceed $10,000. If it does, recommend that you shop around.

    See question 
  • 1st will was drawn up & filed by a lawyer, years later a 2nd will was drawn up and notarized, but not filed, which one is good?

    This was in Port St. Lucie, FL

    Marc’s Answer

    So you understand, your Will is not filed with the Court until after your death. The 1st Lawyer may be holding it for you in his office. The 2nd, if it stated that it revoked the 1st Will, would replace it. However, both documents would need to have been properly executed, witnessed and notarized, to be valid. Without that information it is impossible to answer your question. Since you did them both with an attorney it is fair to assume that each Will was done correctly in which case the 2nd Will replaced the 1st Will.

    See question 
  • What does Life Tenant need to do to sell property in Life Estate?

    If the life tenant wishes to sell his home which is in a Life Estate, can he simply indicate such in a typed memo and have it notarized? And what needs to be done by the remainderman? Does this need to be filed with any municipality or is it kep...

    Marc’s Answer

    A life tenant may only sell their life estate interest. The age of the life tenant will determine its value. The approval of the remainder beneficiaries is not required. The transaction needs to be reflected on a valid real estate deed and not a memorandum signed by the life tenant. I highly recommend you contact and utilize the service of an attorney to accomplish your objective so you do not cause a problem with the ownership after the life tenant's death.

    See question 
  • How to contest a will

    a friend of mine died in Novemeber. Prior to her death she told me on several occasions that she was leaving me a certain item. She also told me that she had a safety deposit box with a "new will" in it. Only myself and another friend new of this ...

    Marc’s Answer

    You will have a difficult road if you do not possess at least a signed copy of the "new" will. Maybe the attorney who drafted it maintained a signed copy in his file. While the law provides that only the most recent Will be admitted to probate, you will have to show that the document submitted by the son was revoked and superseded by the one you knew about. Recommend that you speak with the son and see if he would give you the specific item so you could remember his Mom. If it only has sentimental value you have a good chance he may give it to you.

    See question 
  • My mother passed away in 2008, her husband at the time did not give a copy of her will to me or my sister. How can I get a copy?

    Mother passed 2008, I am her second born daughter.

    Marc’s Answer

    If it was filed, you should be able to get a copy of it from the Clerk of Court in her county of residence.

    See question 
  • Do I still have legal control over the healthcare of my ex-inlaws?

    About 3-1/2 years ago, my husband's parents came to live with us. We immediately took over their health care and had powers of attorney signed by them before an attorney (Florida). Sometime later, they were diagnosed with dementia. Since then, my ...

    Marc’s Answer

    The safest path for you to pursue would be to contact the Dept. of Children & Families and have them investigate the case. They could commence guardianship proceedings if mom is not being properly cared for by her son and husband. Under Section 765.104 of the FL Statutes, your authority as a health care surrogate was removed (as a result of your divorce). Similarly, any authority you had to act as her the Power of Attorney was removed upon your divorce.

    See question 
  • Everyone says get a lawyer, get a lawyer, after you win a lottery jackpot. However, no one ever says what kind of lawyer ?

    or what area of practice Other than a tax attorney,a financial planner and a CPA Please tell me and be specific as to what kind of lawyer and the area of practice will I need as a lottery winner?

    Marc’s Answer

    You should interview and retain an attorney who has a solid basis in both tax law and estate planning. Both are essential to receiving good advise and guidance. Stay away from the big firms unless you want a huge bill and nothing done.

    See question