1. In probate court, when the attorney's fees are 33-40% of the inheritance won, is this amount of the inheritance get figured when the decedent first dies, or when the case is closed? In my case, my dad died 15 years ago, and his estate has almost quadrupled.
2. Is there a time limit of when the attorneys can collect fees from the client?
3. Can the attorneys take a person's house, or income, if the court rules that the opposing party doesn't have to pay anything? (Even though the opposing party was found to have undue influence, was removed by the court as trustee, was found to have written a fraudulent amendment that the court eventually voided, but was said to not have bad faith, if you can believe that.)
2 Answers from Attorneys
Your questions all appear to revolve around a probate/trust litigation, and the answers to your questions would be governed by the attorney fee contract you entered into regarding your representation by the attorney or firm. You are advised to consult another attorney, experienced with probate litigation,other than the one representing you, to interpret the contract provisions as they apply in your particular matter.
Contingency fees are generally calculated on the amount recovered on behalf of the client. Mr. Wald is correct, however, in that the terms of your fee agreement are controlling here.