The estate attorney I hired for informal probate threatened to add new charges after I questioned his bill. He also tried to coerce me to add his name on to the estate's bank account .
I want to dismiss him and continue on with the process myself, since I am the personal representative. There are no contests to the will, no outstanding bills ( he paid himself at the closing of my mother's house on the HUD statement and did not give me a copy of it) all that remains is accountancy work, which he was not hired to do.
How do I do this in a way that satisfies the court and gets me clear of him?
Elder Law Attorney
You have every right to fire your attorney -- do so by letter demanding that he withdraw from the case and turn over the complete case file to you. Since I have no idea what he actually did or the complexity of the estate, I won't opine about whether his bill was reasonable or not. However, you also have the right to ask the court to review his bill, since as the personal representative, you are ultimately responsible for the use of the estate's money.
However, the estate is not closed and your job is not done until the Court issues its decree of final settlement. You may wish to consult with another probate attorney about the reasonableness of the bills and to check to see that everything is in fact done.
E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.
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I agree with Attorney Golden. You may fire your attorney for any reason. However, you will be responsible for completing whatever duties as personal representative remain. You should consider having another attorney review the mater to assess the complexity of whatever remains to be done. Good luck -
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