Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Indiana

Final accounting for ward deceased for 5 years

Six yrs. ago I became guardian for an elderly family member who lived several states away and had no other living relatives. She was judged mentally incompetent and I went to visit her for a week, arranged nursing home placement, purchased a pre-burial policy and payed down her debt so she would qualify for Medicaid. I turned my financials over to the attorney who had been appointed and when my relative passed away 5 yrs ago, I thought my role was over. But, the attorney recently notified me that the final accounting was never completed. He says he tried to reach me before this. I never received any messages. But, I have moved twice in the past 5 yrs so maybe he tried. He claims there is a discrepancy of a couple hundred dollars between ledger and bank statements. After 5 yrs and two household moves, I have no idea where my records are. I am trying to reconstruct them by working with the bank that had her guardianship acct. I don't know how successful it's going to be yet. It's still in process. The attorney who initially got an upfront fee from the estate, now wants to charge me extra for the final acct. Should I pay the atty the extra he wants? More important, if unable to get a complete set of records, what should I do?

Asked on 6/15/08, 1:44 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

C. David DuMond Law Offices of David DuMond

Re: Final accounting for ward deceased for 5 years

The lawyer is probably being embarrassed by reminders and show cause notices from the local probate court to wrap up this guardianship. Responsibility for payment of attorney fees belongs to the estate of the ward; and if the problem is just a few hundred dollars discrepancy, the attorney or you can just assign a line item for unaccounted funds to balance, then ask that the case be closed. The court won't want to sweat the small stuff. If the attorney had control of the financial books and records, you should not be expected to pay any further fees. Good luck.

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Answered on 6/16/08, 10:49 am
Samuel Hasler Samuel Hasler

Re: Final accounting for ward deceased for 5 years

It is unclear if this an Indiana guardianship or not. If the attorney is doing extra work, then the money is due him. I think you need to talk to the attorney.

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Answered on 6/16/08, 11:05 am

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