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How can I stop the attorney I hired for administration and trust contest from representing other family members?

Sacramento, CA |
Filed under: Probate

I hired an attorney for two purposes, get me letter of administration and oppose a trust making competing claim to the assets of the deceased. First, attorney got letter of personal rep from closer relative but also had him sign % fee represent agreement unnecessarily. Then attorney let the 120 trust notice period toll in order to sign another % agreement with a relative who had not received trust notice. The attorney is more argumentative to me than to the opposing party to whom attorney allowed free reign over deceased property without their yet having shown standing. Attorney has yet to do anything I have directly asked. When criticized, she huffs, "I'm not doing any more work on case... until you cower." I prefer the case have been decided but all attorney does is delay.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If the attorney has conflicts of interest, then write them a demand letter and demand a refund. If the attorney doesn't withdraw from the case and from representing the other parties as opposing interests, then file a motion to have the attorney DQ'd from representing all parties and file a complaint with the Cal Bar.


  2. Is the conflict an actual conflict or a perceived conflict? Is the other family member's interests the same as yours or different? Have you spoken with your attorney about it?


  3. If you are attempting to administer an estate of non-trust assets against the purported interest of a trust, then the attorney cannot represent both you and the trust proponents. If your interests and the other family members in questions' interests are closely aligned, there is a possibility that representation of multiple parties may be allowable, but the possible conflict must generally still be waived. I agree with following the steps proposed by Mr. Benton.

    THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mrs. Cook is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in San Diego County. She is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, please be advised that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used or relied upon, and cannot be used or relied upon, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

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