Can I change estate attorney in the middle of preparing estate accounting, filing, etc.?

Asked 5 months ago - 43228

We are not happy with the estate attorney for my deceased relatives accounting. I am executor, do I have the right to dismiss him and find another attorney? The beneficiaries to the estate (not me) are in agreement.
He has not been communicative, helpful and up front with telling us what are duties are. We are frustrated and know there is better guidance available.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. James Bart Leonardi

    Contributor Level 10

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    Answered . Yes, Mr. Zelinger is correct. You almost always can fire your attorney, but it may not make the most sense. It is unclear if he is filing a partial account or a final account. If it is a final account and the estate is near closing you may want to ride it out. However, if you don't have confidence in your attorney it is something you should consider. In probate he will have to seek approval for his fees with the court. If you and/or the beneficiaries don't consent the court will have a hearing in his fees to see if they are reasonable. Again, not enough information to give you a specific answer, but those are some general ideas. Good luck.

    Bart Leonardi
    James Bart Leonardi, LLC
    26451 Curtiss Wright Pkwy, #100
    Cleveland, OH 44143
    440-937-8364
    www.bartleonardi.com

    Any response given to a question is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship between this lawyer or... more
  2. Charles Lawrence Huddleston III

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

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    Answered . Lack of communication with clients appears to be common lawyer problem in probate administration. Yes, as Executor, you can terminate the services of the lawyer you hired. He will need to be paid for the work done to date, and the new attorney will probably charge what he or she would have charged if the case had been his or hers from the start. So making the change is not always efficient. But if the estate is large enough, complicated enough or you fear things are not being done properly, you may certainly fire the attorney and hire another.

    Mr. Huddleston is an Ohio-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, with offices in Columbus... more
  3. Steven M Zelinger

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Answered . For the most part, you can always change attorneys - so long as it is the client making the choice. Keep in mind however that you may have to pay for the services and time spent to date. Also keep in mind that changing mid-stream may cause more trouble than it is worth. I'm sure you've done this, but try to have a discussion about the issues one more time before moving on.

    This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is... more
  4. Joseph Franklin Pippen Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

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    Lawyer agrees

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    Answered . Yes-I agree with the YES answers.

    The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of... more

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