If a beneficiary of an estate takes legal action against the executor for breach of fiduciary responsibiities, excessive fees and misuse of estate funds can the benefiticary recover the cost of thier attorney form the defendant if it is ruled in the beneficiaries favor?
Estate Planning Attorney
Absolutely. The legal standard in determining whether you may recover counsel fees and costs is twofold: (1) the fees and costs to be reimbursed must be reasonable, and (2) they must lead to a benefit to the estate. Based on what you are stating, you should have a good claim. Having said that, the award of counsel fees and costs is at the discretion of the probate judge.
This response does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. It is also not to be taken as firm legal advice as such would be contingent on a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter. The response is meant to be a helpful guide to a question in a manner which reflects the limited information provided by the inquirer.