I am the personal representative for my sister's estate. A medical provider submitted a claim for several hundred dollars, my probate attorney said I should just pay it. There was a stack of unpaid bills from that clinic -- all for $28 -- they won't return my calls or provide any documentation of the claim they submitted to the court, not even a date of service, so I'm disinclined to pay it and don't understand why my lawyer says to accept it. If the claim is legitimate, I suspect it's related to a car crash; the bill should have gone to the attorney who litigated the settlement. Which is a second question: medical bills are popping up that should have been handled by that attorney, and he is ignoring them and me when I forward them. It was a contingency case and he took 40% plus $8,000 admin fees and still hasn't released the rest of the award to the estate account -- does he have an obligation to deal with these bills? It doesn't feel like he finished the job, especially when I am unable to say whether services were billed properly or see if they already paid by the other auto insurance etc. Again, the probate lawyer says to just pay the bills, but there isn't much to pay with.
Changed to the Probate section of the forum.
I'd do what your probate attotney advised. Its probably not worth the expense of challenging rhe creditor. If you dont like your attorneys advice, find another.
Just because I answer your question does not mean that I am your lawyer, or that you should take action based on my answer. I am not your lawyer. I can give you my best guess based on the facts as you present them in your question. Any questions that I ask in my response are rhetorical, which means that I do not want you to answer my questions.
You can object to any claim requesting proof of debt. Regarding your second question, as the PR you can request an accounting from the PI attorney for the estate and see what you get.
Probate law gives you a limited time after a claim is submitted, (usually about a month after the deadline for submitting claims, but check with your attorney) to object to the claim. If you object, the creditor has 30 days to file a lawsuit to collect the claim (unless you agree to more time to attempt to work out the dispute) or the claim is barred. If you think a claim isn't valid, it's your right to object, but depending on your fee arrangement with your attorney, it may cost more than the amount in dispute. As personal representative, you have the right to require information from the personal injury attorney as to the issues involved in the auto injury claim. Sometimes during the lawsuit an attorney provides a creditor with an agreement to pay the medical bill from the personal injury settlement (though it normally does not come out of the PI attorney's fees). Sometimes a medical claim has a legal right to a lien on the settlement. The attorney who handled the injury claim has an obligation to explain this to you. Your estate attorney should be advising you about this. If you no longer can communicate with him, it's time to fire him and hire new counsel, as this is part of his duties as your attorney. .
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