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

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?

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Attorney answers 3


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...nothing in this response should be construed as establishing a lawyer client relationship..the answers herein are for informational purposes and not to be construed as advice


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 , for more tax, estate and business articles visit his website 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 , his website is and his blog is <> 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.



What do you mean by step up?


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 limited to his understanding of law in the jurisdiction in which he practices and not to any other jurisdiction. In addition, no response to any posted inquiry should be deemed to constitute legal advice, nor to constitute the existence of an attorney/client or other contractual or fiduciary relationship, inasmuch as rendering legal advice involves the ability of the attorney to ask appropriate questions of the person seeking such advice and to thus gather appropriate information. In addition, an attorney/client relationship is formed only by specific agreement. The purpose of this answer is to provide the questioner with general information, not to outline specific legal rights and remedies.



The estate is over $5,000,000.00