I am starting an asset recovery/unclaimed funds locator business based in Los Angeles. I know that there is no fee limit for finding an heir in probate, but that there is a limit of 10% at the State of CA Comptroller's Office. Can I charge a different rate for helping recover assets at the County of Los Angeles level vs. the state level (for example, excess proceeds from a foreclosure auction or tax sale in L.A. County)?
First, you will want to consult with a business attorney in this matter to go over the risks involved, and to research the business area with greater precision.
While I am not an attorney in CA anymore, fee limits are typically placed only on the executor and attorney. However, the executor is required to limit payments from the estate to those that are "reasonable". While this is a legal limit, in practice the term "reasonable" is rarely overseen or limited by judges. It does happen, just not very often in my experience.
So as far as I can tell, and aside from the statute of limitations, there is no "legal limit" on what you can charge for asset recovery, whether in or out of probate.
Aside from that, you will want to
Matthew Johnson phone# 206.747.0313 is licensed in the State of Washington and performs bankruptcy, short sale negotiations, and estate planning in Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King and Pierce counties. The response does not constitute specific legal advice, which would require a full inquiry by the attorney into the complete background of the facts and circumstances surrounding this matter; rather, it is intended to be general legal information based on the limited information provided by the inquirer; it This response also does not constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established after a conflict of interest evaluation is completed, your case is accepted, and a fee agreement is signed. Johnson Legal Group, PLLC
1 lawyer agrees
Mr Johnson offers sound advice. You are in a grey or unclear area here. Before taking any action get an opinion from an estates and/or business attorney that you will not be violating any laws. Taking action and then trying to get legal comfort after the fact may put you in deep water here.
Be legally prudent and safe; get a legal opinion.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org , 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 and Montgomery Counties. He is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States. His phone number is 215-735-2336 or his email address is email@example.com , his website is www.sjfpc.com. and his blog is <http://frommtaxes.wordpress.com/> Mr. Fromm is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/ client relationship. Also, there are no recognized legal specialties under Pennsylvania law. Any references to a trust, estate or tax lawyer refer only to the fact that Mr. Fromm limits his practice to these areas of the law. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Fromm strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in their state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.