Thanks for your question and good afternoon.My sympathy here for your situiation.Question 1:Is the estate attorney correct?Answer:You have the right to terminate the lawyer for the estate.As long as the lawyer represents the estate the other parties are required to communicate through the estate lawyer.Any legal fees incurred from the estate lawyer should be paid by the estate here not you personally.Question 2: If the answer to Q1 is no, what legal jargon can I give the estate attorney to tell them to back off, your services are no longer required? Answer:You have the right to terminate the lawyer for the estate here if you are the executor/admimistrator.Thats a personal decision, you have to decide if you want to self represent the estate in court.If you did so then you would have personal liability for any errors as far as probate--but again that's your call. The estate lawyer has to continue to represent you here unless terminated by you as executor.They have professional liability to the estate until terminated.If you terminate them then they would file a withdrawal with the probate court.
Here are the ethical rules that apply to the lawyer..
A lawyer who is discharged from a representation by the client must withdraw from the matter pursuant to RPC 1.16(a)(3). A client may dismiss his or her attorney at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all. See Cohen v. ROU, 146 N.J. 140, 157 (1996), aff�g as modified 275 N.J. Super. 241, 255 (App. Div. 1994); Dinter v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 278 N.J. Super. 521, 531 (App. Div.), certif. den. 140 N.J. 329 (1995); In re Estate of Poli, 134 N.J. Super. 222, 226-227 (Cty. Ct. 1975). It has been my pleasure to assist you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again for letting me help.
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Thanks Ray. Just what I needed.
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