I have already paid $10,000 to a lawyer to look into a will and received a couple of concise well-written letters written with minimal results. The 3 beneficiaries are having to sue due to nonpayment by executor of the estate. It is very difficult to find a lawyer in SC who has experience handling wills/trusts. The same lawyer's law firm has offered to take this case starting with mediation at 35% (which will never happen) up tp 50% to go to court. They will add their fees to whatever proceeds they redeem then take the 50% (same w/the 35%). I have never heard of such, Is this legal? Is this outrageous?
This is a case where you are simply trying to get the executor to produce an accounting and distribute? While that can sometimes be lengthy litigation, if you have the ability to pay it is not normal in my experience to have such a case be on a contingent basis. Obviously you need to consult local attorneys. You are free to hire a new lawyer - if you have such misgivings you may want to shop around - finding lawyer for an estate matter should not be that hard as it is not usually super-specialized.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature.
What part troubles you? Yes, it is normal for expenses to be in addition to the fee. The fee is for the labor done by the office. Expenses are monies paid to other people outside the office for your case to happen. Your contract with the lawyer would explain that.
The 50% seems a bit high. But if you are not wanting to pay the lawyer hourly to go fight your battle, it is not an unreasonable arrangement. If you do not like the price, find someone else. That is your power.
50% on top of a ten thousand dollar retainer seems quite high, but some fact patterns could justify it. I agree that you should shop around. There are some excellent lawyers in the Pee Dee.
This answer is for general advice and does not create an attorney client relationship with James Mosteller or the Mosteller Law Firm LLC.
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