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Old 01-05-2011, 05:54 PM   #41
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Okay, it is DEFINITELY time for me to complete my living trust etc. This is ugly.

Dimsumkid - I would finish this incredible mess, and then find another attorney for the future. I wouldn't want to work with this firm.

The other thing is - and they apparently fail to realize this - in all areas, people tell all their friends about a firm/store/whatever that they had a problem with. They are much more likely to do that than to share the joy of working with someone good. So bad work ends up costing them future customers.

They should be GLAD to redo it for free, not bill you for their services since they made the accounting error, etc. Then they would get a lot of mention from you about what a decent firm they were etc etc... I don't think you are supposed to have to cross check the attorneys' calculations and have liability for it.

I'm not an attorney - this is simply based on my experiences - oh, and common sense...

Good luck with it - and change firms ASAP.
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Old 01-05-2011, 05:59 PM   #42
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Archiever51,
I don't think I want to go another 1.5 yrs, it's too long already. My atty has been tired of this nonsense for the last 6 months too. Here's one thing you can do, let someone else be the independent administrator! That way you can sit back and accuse the person of abusing the estate. If you're still inclined to take on the job the only thing I can suggest is try to identify the problem heirs, then come prepared with a strong stomach and will. I was looking for was a little support and a "Thanks" for helping out...none of that ever came from 3 out of the 4 parties involved.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:15 PM   #43
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Okay, it is DEFINITELY time for me to complete my living trust etc. This is ugly.

Dimsumkid - I would finish this incredible mess, and then find another attorney for the future. I wouldn't want to work with this firm.

The other thing is - and they apparently fail to realize this - in all areas, people tell all their friends about a firm/store/whatever that they had a problem with. They are much more likely to do that than to share the joy of working with someone good. So bad work ends up costing them future customers.

They should be GLAD to redo it for free, not bill you for their services since they made the accounting error, etc. Then they would get a lot of mention from you about what a decent firm they were etc etc... I don't think you are supposed to have to cross check the attorneys' calculations and have liability for it.

I'm not an attorney - this is simply based on my experiences - oh, and common sense...

Good luck with it - and change firms ASAP.
The problem is I interviewed multiple firms and this one came off as the best to handle my case. Since I hadn't had much experience using attorney's, you end up not getting the person you interview...I discussed the case with the owner of the firm and another atty. What I wasn't told is if there's a court situation, they have completely different atty's that go to court, not the ones I talked to and made my decision to go with! This isn't a big firm about 6 attys, as they specialize in estates, trusts and guardianships. I think the owner has been very good at correcting problems, the atty I work with seems to have a nice personality in person, but on the phone/email, he seems to be very terse/almost mean. When I discovered the error, we got into an almost shouting match about whose fault it was. I didn't feel it right for me to pay $225/hr to get yelled at, especially since I didn't cause the error! Anyway, after discussing with the owner (I wasn't part of this conversation), they're correcting the problem and the attitude has changed back to a normal, non yelling status again...as if it never happened. Kind of feel like he's Dr. Jekyll/Mr Hyde...
After the 2nd party repays their portion, then all my work over 2 cases will be done with this firm, except my trust is with them too.

Can anyone tell me if you can transfer a trust to another atty? How hard is this to do and what how expensive will it be?
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:30 PM   #44
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Only thing I get of any of this is that if you are dealing with lunatics, expect crazy results.

Why not just steal 'em blind and dare them to prove it?

As the attorney dealing with my brother's estate said, there really are no estate police.

Ha
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:22 PM   #45
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How does one decline being an executor (if they were asked and agreed originally)?

This sounds like an area where a 'disinterested third party' is well worth the money.

-ERD50
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Old 01-05-2011, 11:46 PM   #46
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Can anyone tell me if you can transfer a trust to another atty? How hard is this to do and what how expensive will it be?
Reading through this thread, it seems to me like you have issues of trustability in trusting your trust business to an untrustable trust attorney Trust me, find someone truly trustworthy to entrust your trusts to, not someone who can't be trusted.

All kidding aside, the attorney who miscalculated the amounts should step up and take care of the collections. 'Consulting with the owner" means he knows he screwed up and isn't...

Sorry to hear you have had such a hard time; being the executor of an estate is tough enough without your siblings sniping at you and your attorney dodging his mistakes.

I like Ha's approach to dealing with your siblings (they sound like real pieces of work)- screw 'em. I'd tell them "here is what you got, per the enclosed accounting. P*ss and moan all you want, but the estate is settled, and my role as executor is now complete."

Instruct your attorney that his billable hours on this case are over unless specifically authorized by you in writing. Otherwise your disgruntled siblings may try to call him to whine chat about your "mishandling" of the estate at $225/hr, knowing the bill would go to you as executor. Let them pay their own attorneys if they want to stir things up, for the money you're talking about here they won't....

Good luck.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:05 AM   #47
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Only thing I get of any of this is that if you are dealing with lunatics, expect crazy results.

Why not just steal 'em blind and dare them to prove it?

As the attorney dealing with my brother's estate said, there really are no estate police.

Ha
When you have siblings that are willing to contest, they're MUCH worse than any police. I've learned that from this experience for sure! Problem with this process, as the executor/admin, you're held to a higher standard, but the problem ones can do as they please.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:28 AM   #48
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How does one decline being an executor (if they were asked and agreed originally)?

This sounds like an area where a 'disinterested third party' is well worth the money.

-ERD50
I was told all you need to do is tell the judge you decline. Of course, you need to find a replacement (sucker) to step in for you.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:36 AM   #49
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Reading through this thread, it seems to me like you have issues of trustability in trusting your trust business to an untrustable trust attorney Trust me, find someone truly trustworthy to entrust your trusts to, not someone who can't be trusted.

All kidding aside, the attorney who miscalculated the amounts should step up and take care of the collections. 'Consulting with the owner" means he knows he screwed up and isn't...

Sorry to hear you have had such a hard time; being the executor of an estate is tough enough without your siblings sniping at you and your attorney dodging his mistakes.

I like Ha's approach to dealing with your siblings (they sound like real pieces of work)- screw 'em. I'd tell them "here is what you got, per the enclosed accounting. P*ss and moan all you want, but the estate is settled, and my role as executor is now complete."

Instruct your attorney that his billable hours on this case are over unless specifically authorized by you in writing. Otherwise your disgruntled siblings may try to call him to whine chat about your "mishandling" of the estate at $225/hr, knowing the bill would go to you as executor. Let them pay their own attorneys if they want to stir things up, for the money you're talking about here they won't....

Good luck.
WS
I wish I could do what Ha stated, but the problem lies in that the 2 worst possible siblings were the only ones that got the overpayments. This is why we had to go back to court to get a judgement and start getting these overpayments back. You'd think these PITA's were spoiled kids, say 12 yrs old, no, they're both in their 50's. My job was supposed to be done with the final payout, but here I am 2 months later and time is still ticking away, 3.5 yrs later...
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:19 AM   #50
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I was told all you need to do is tell the judge you decline. Of course, you need to find a replacement (sucker) to step in for you.

No you do not... if you never took on the job it is (or should be) in the will... if not, then the judge will appoint someone...


Now, if you meant resign.... well then maybe this is true...
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:28 AM   #51
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No you do not... if you never took on the job it is (or should be) in the will... if not, then the judge will appoint someone...


Now, if you meant resign.... well then maybe this is true...
For what's it's worth, this is what my atty gave me as options. I had to go through the other heirs to identify someone else as a replacement if I decided to withdraw. I was also told the Judge could decline my withdrawal too. Of course, this was just my experience. This was as an independent administrator (when there's no will) and all heirs had to sign off agreeing on who would fulfill this role, I'm sure this selection process is different than an executor.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:35 AM   #52
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Can anyone tell me if you can transfer a trust to another atty? How hard is this to do and what how expensive will it be?
There is no reason you can't switch attorneys. Expense depends on what work needs to be done on the trust.

You mentioned in one of your posts that a different lawyer handled the litigation from the lawyer you worked with in the first place. This is not unusual, as estate planner and people who do probate often do not litigate disputes.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:43 AM   #53
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There is no reason you can't switch attorneys. Expense depends on what work needs to be done on the trust.

You mentioned in one of your posts that a different lawyer handled the litigation from the lawyer you worked with in the first place. This is not unusual, as estate planner and people who do probate often do not litigate disputes.
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One thing I've learned about our legal process is that the best litigators aren't necessarily the best lawyers.

(Don't ask me how I know this...)
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:46 AM   #54
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How does one decline being an executor (if they were asked and agreed originally)?

This sounds like an area where a 'disinterested third party' is well worth the money.

-ERD50
It is easy to decline before you take on the responsibility. Just don't take on the job. Once you are in it can be harder to resign as you now have a duty to the estate.

Disinterested third parties are rarely the answer. It likely would be very expensive, with the disinterested party likely charging very high rates. And who would the disinterested person be? I acted as representative for the estate a non-relative. I kept track of my hours. If I had billed them hourly I would have drained the estate. I know trust officers from financial institutions that have been personal representatives/executors and they charged very high hourly rates.

On the other hand, the personal representative I have named in my will is a friend, rather than a relative. The friend is very close, would do the work for nothing (except I have arranged for payment). However, I have no expectation at all of a dispute among heirs. It is just that the heirs either live too far away to act or are not suited or competent for the job. I would not name my friend if I expected a problem. As I and my friend approach old age, I am not sure what I will do.
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Old 01-06-2011, 09:49 AM   #55
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There is no reason you can't switch attorneys. Expense depends on what work needs to be done on the trust.

You mentioned in one of your posts that a different lawyer handled the litigation from the lawyer you worked with in the first place. This is not unusual, as estate planner and people who do probate often do not litigate disputes.
Martha,
Maybe to clarify, since I established my trust with this firm, the trust then can be transferred to any other atty I choose? From how it was described to me, they'll always have the master trust docs. I don't have any current work that needs to be done on the trust, but I'm concerned about doing any future work with this firm as my trust would be the only legal item that connects us. If I want to move it to another legal firm, it's as simple as just going to the new firm and giving them a copy of my trust docs?
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:19 AM   #56
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Martha,
Maybe to clarify, since I established my trust with this firm, the trust then can be transferred to any other atty I choose? From how it was described to me, they'll always have the master trust docs. I don't have any current work that needs to be done on the trust, but I'm concerned about doing any future work with this firm as my trust would be the only legal item that connects us. If I want to move it to another legal firm, it's as simple as just going to the new firm and giving them a copy of my trust docs?
They did the work but they did it for you. You own those trust documents, not the lawyer.

I do not know the practice in your state, but in my state you would go to the new lawyer and that lawyer would ask the former lawyer to send the file (with the original trust documents) on to them. The new lawyer might have you sign a letter directing the old lawyer to make the transfer.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:22 AM   #57
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They did the work but they did it for you. You own those trust documents, not the lawyer.

I do not know the practice in your state, but in my state you would go to the new lawyer and that lawyer would ask the former lawyer to send the file on to them. The new lawyer might have you sign a letter directing the old lawyer to make the transfer.
Martha,
Thanks, hopefully it's the same here. Just seemed too simple a process to transfer.
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:25 PM   #58
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Just had a phone conversation with the owner of the legal firm. He's going to make sure about no being billed for this work and will get back to me, seems to be wanting to not make things whole, since I'll only be out $564 if only 1 party doesn't pay me back. Also added the atty that worked on my case did a great job. Mentioned they don't do any collections work. When I mentioned that I had sent a lot of work his way, he said he has eight attys and that if it wasn't me, then it would be someone else's work. So, I don't get a warm and fuzzy feeling that he really cares to make me whole if the last party doesn't want to repay me.

Definitely sealed my decision to move my trust to someone else.

Also, forgot to mention that since I found this accting error, he's not blaming me for finding it, but seemed to imply why I didn't find it when I reviewed and sign it. I asked him why his firm didn't find it, nor the Judge or my mom's guardian didn't find it either! No answer to this.
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:30 PM   #59
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Just had a phone conversation with the owner of the legal firm. He's going to make sure about no being billed for this work and will get back to me, seems to be wanting to not make things whole, since I'll only be out $564 if only 1 party doesn't pay me back.
Do I understand that you are OK except for $564?

I know it must hurt, but if this is true consider yourself lucky and get out of that situation just as soon as you can. Another week of fretting will cost you $564 worth of life energy.

Ha
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Old 01-06-2011, 04:33 PM   #60
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Do I understand that you are OK except for $564?

I know it must hurt, but if this is true consider yourself lucky and get out of that situation just as soon as you can. Another week of fretting will cost you $564 worth of life energy.

Ha
Right now it's $564 * 2, just started the process of collecting from the other party. I still need to recover the money to resend out all the distributions to the other heirs.
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