Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in New York

My Mom is beneficiary of her sister's estate . Can she request a copy of the retainer agreement that the executors signed with the lawyer they hired to process the estate? I heard from one of the executors that the law firm is now going to charge by the hour. When we went to our first meeting at the law firm (2 years ago), my mom was told that the law firm would get 5% of the estate as their payment. Can they change their method of payment at this point? Thats why I think she should have a copy of the retainer agreement ..????

Asked on 10/10/18, 8:56 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Richard Bryan Richard Bryan Attorney PC

Please accept my condolences on the death of your aunt.

Of course your mom can ask for a copy, but there's no rule which says either the executor or the law firm must send mom a copy. The way to handle this is to just sit and wait and eventually you'll get in the mail an "informal accounting" and you'll be able to see what the legal fees were. If the charges are excessive in your opinion, than you may challenge those fees. However the legal fee arrangement is between the executor and the lawyers, not with mom.

Good luck.

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Answered on 10/10/18, 9:02 am

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