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Can Interested Parties contest Personal Rep fees?

Rochester, MI |

I am PR of mom's Estate. The Will was filed informal. I have kept receipts, journals, time, and now closing the Estate. I was told I am entitled to payment as PR. It has been a nasty sibling conflict
& question how do fees get submitted. I was also told the siblings may contest my fees.
Will the Interested Parties get notice of my fees? and if they contest (which I anticipate)
how does the process work? If they contest, this will only prevent their final distribution which I thought they were anxious to receive.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

With an informal proceeding, you report your fees to the interested parties on the final account. I generally suggest sending a waiver and consent form along with the account. If they consent to it, you send out the checks. If they want to object, the onus is on them to hire an attorney and file a petition. If you do not have an attorney, you SHOULD have, under the circumstances you describe. The attorney is paid by the estate, not by you. So there is no reason to put yourself in jeopardy, for no reason.

James Frederick

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10 comments

Asker

Posted

and so they file a Petition. Many forms are found on the Court's website. Will they need to hire a lawyer? Or can they just fill out their own form. Then isn't there a filing fee? So in speculation, they file the petition, does this go in front of the Judge? What does the Judge look for? thank you

Asker

Posted

I'm just speculating, but the siblings will hope the Judge will rule in their favor, and my fees will be denied.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

You are entitled to a fee. The question is whether or not it is reasonable. The judges hate cases like that. Unless you are seeking the moon, you are in a very strong position. To me, I see no disadvantage to your having a lawyer and a potential big disadvantage in going to court without one. In uncontested situations that are very basic, it can be tempting to try to go it alone. I would never want to do host in a contested case. There is a $20 filing fee for a petition. If they do not do it properly, the court will not accept it for filing. Practically, if they are serious about contesting, they should have an attorney. If they do, you would be foolish not to do likewise. Practically, there is almost no chance of you being denied a fee. How much the fee should be is one of the reasons to consult with a lawyer.

Peter L. Conway

Peter L. Conway

Posted

If they ALL consent, then you send the checks.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

Exactly.

Asker

Posted

and I would have no problem sending out the distribution. In fact, brother wants to know his distribution before it is given to him. Maybe I have been watching too many "legal - type" shows, but I always thought the distribution should be looked at, as a gift from the deceased. Not to determine if he should be "receiving more". Out of his distribution, he will be paying for "his own lawyer fees" and back pay to the Estate during the time when mom was under Conservatorship. He never reimbursed the CA, and when she closed her file, this was noted and received by the Judge. Is there a chance this owed money can be repaid into the Estate? I will fight him on this one, it's all about accountability.

Peter L. Conway

Peter L. Conway

Posted

You really, really need your own lawyer to guide you. You are expecting specific advice, but you are only supplying maybe 10% of the information needed to allow a lawyer to give specific advice.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

I agree with Mr. Conway on this. You lost me when you started talking about your brother paying the Conservator. He would have had no duty to do this, whatsoever. I am not sure what you mean about "backpaying" the estate, either. If there is any disagreement at all, you really should consult your own attorney.

Asker

Posted

Mom was under CA for about 10 months before she passed away. Brother filed and was appointed GA. Whatever arrangement they had, when the CA submitted her final accounting, it reflected that Brother owed the Estate back money. The CA's methods were unconventional from many standpoints. The Judge accepted her filing.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

Since the judge accepted this, you may be bound by the ruling. You need to review this with an attorney to determine where you stand.

Posted

Yes, they can. Rely on your attorney's advice and guidance.

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Posted

I have read all the comments and responses and can only say that you need to get yourself in to see an attorney.

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