If heirs cant find an attorney on a contingency basis & haven't the money for one, what can they do?

Asked over 2 years ago - San Francisco, CA

they were suppose to of recieved a notice of the probate years back, but did not get one & they WERE entitled to one too...All the attorneys think too much time has gone by, what can they do?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Jeff Tomberg

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . most attorneys charge an hourly rate or a percentage of the assets as the basis for fees. unless youre in a litigation situation you will be hard pressed to find a lawyer to handle a probate matter on a contingency because the probate process is an administrative process that simply transfers the assets from the decedent to the heirs after securing payments to creditors. if the estate assets are that small that a lawyer can not be afforded you should see if a summary procedure exists to assist.

    without a detailed review by a lawyer can all the issues raised in your question be appropriately addressed...... more
  2. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There may be a serious problem with the merits of your case if no attorney is willing to accept it on a contingent basis and a lot of time has gone by. You need to step up now to resolve this or simply move on.

    Hope this helps.

    Please remember to designate a best answer to your question.

    Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336, his email address is sjfpc@comcast.net , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website www.sjfpc.com. and blog

    LEGAL DISCLAIMER Mr. Fromm is licensed to practice law throughout the state of PA with offices in Philadelphia... more
  3. Michael S. Haber


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Unfortunately, there may be no satisfactory answer to your question. The only possible ways for an attorney to be paid on an estate matter are an hourly rate, a flat rate, or a contingency. If you do not have the money to hire an attorney on an hourly or flat rate and no attorney is wiling to handle it on a contingency basis, there may be no other options. Of course, you can always try doing it yourself, which is obviously not recommended. The fact that an attorney is not willing to handle it on a contingency fee basis may be suggestive of the possibility that either your legal position is weak or that the estate is particularly small.

    Good luck to you.

    Michael S. Haber is a New York attorney. As such, his responses to posted inquiries, such as the one above, are... more

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