Attorney’s fees

Attorney Representing Incapacitated Adult Ordered to Refund Fees

JUNE 22, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 23 How much does it cost to establish a guardianship or conservatorship? Is there any limit on the possible legal costs? These are questions that we deal with on a regular basis. The short answer, at least in Arizona, is that the attorneys and other professionals in a guardianship/conservatorship …

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Agent On Power of Attorney is Personally Liable for Legal Fees

MARCH 3, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 9 Let’s say that Billy signs a power of attorney, naming his friend Joyce as his agent. Later Billy becomes incapacitated, and his agent needs legal advice about her rights and responsibilities. Who will pay for their legal advice? Generally speaking, you are not supposed to have to spend …

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Trust for surviving spouse

Trust for Surviving Spouse Leads to Dispute With Stepchildren

FEBRUARY 17, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 7 When Albert Findlay (not his real name) died in 2002, he left a trust for the benefit of his wife Sharon. Sharon was named as trustee, and the trust document directed that she was to receive “the entire net income” from the trust for the rest of her …

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Court Reviews Fees Charged by Fiduciary and Attorney

SEPTEMBER 9, 2013 VOLUME 20 NUMBER 34 There is a lot going on in Arizona with regard to the fees charged by guardians, conservators, trustees, personal representatives — and their attorneys. There has been quite a bit of controversy in news articles (particularly, but not exclusively, in the Phoenix area) and online. Professional fiduciaries have …

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New York Judge Takes Bank, Lawyer to Task Over Special Needs Trust

MARCH 9, 2013 VOLUME 20 NUMBER 10 We don’t very often focus on trial court decisions, and especially not in cases from outside Arizona. Trial judges are often very dedicated and bright, and their opinions may be eloquent and well-reasoned, but they do not establish precedent we can describe for our readers. Once in a …

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How Much Does It Cost to Get a Guardian and/or Conservator Appointed?

OCTOBER 22, 2012 VOLUME 19 NUMBER 39 We are frequently asked how much it will cost to get a guardian and/or conservator appointed for a parent or other relative. It is hard to answer with precision, but it is a fair question. Let us see if we can give you some guidance. First, a few …

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Think Your Family Member Needs a Guardian? Proceed With Caution

FEBRUARY 27, 2012 VOLUME 19 NUMBER 8 Phoenix-area resident Larry Robertson (not his real name) was undoubtedly fading mentally, but he had made plans for handling his affairs. He had created a revocable living trust, signed a power of attorney and created a beneficiary deed. All those documents named a husband-and-wife team who were also …

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Excessive Fee in Special Needs Trust Leads to Lawyer’s Suspension

OCTOBER 17, 2011 VOLUME 18 NUMBER 36 Lawyers are ethically prohibited from charging excessive fees. Period. It doesn’t matter if the lawyer has a fee agreement calling for an excessive fee. It doesn’t matter if the negotiated fee seemed reasonable at the time, but turned out to be excessive as things developed. It doesn’t matter …

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Petitioner Not Appointed Conservator, Pays Own Attorney

JULY 11, 2011 VOLUME 18 NUMBER 25 When appointment of a guardian and/or conservator is necessary, the cost of securing the appointment is usually a legitimate charge to be paid by the ward’s estate. There are exceptions, but the general rule is that the guardian’s and conservator’s fees, together with the fees charged by the …

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