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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 111451
Experience:  Experienced in Trust and Succession Law, including Louisiana Laws
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I am co-executor of my deceased mother's estate. The estate

Customer Question

I am co-executor of my deceased mother's estate. The estate has a will associated with it. The will clearly states 30%, 30% and 40% for Richard, Douglas (other co-executor) and Katherine, respectively. I believe my job (Richard) is to assure the will is properly executed. However, my brother (co-executor Douglas) believes he is entitled to more than the 30% as stated in the will. As a result, he has hired a law-firm at a significant cost. Our mother died Dec 04, 2011, and he and his attorneys have been trying to circumvent the will ever since. My sister is mentally retarded (IQ 61 overall) and has been assigned a guardian ad litem and ultimately a guardian. His (co-executor Douglas) initial verified complaint stated that all 3 beneficiaries of the estate were competent and of legal age. Since this was untrue, I presented data proving my sister's incompetence. My brother's attorneys decided to do their own investigation by having her put in a mental institution and have her examined by a multitude of doctors and at a significant expense. The last communication that I received from his attorneys (written to the judge) was that they wanted the right to take from the inheritance shares of Richard and Douglas since there will not be enough money in Katherine's share to cover their costs. Co-executor Douglas retained these attorneys. I did not sign any dockets stating that I wanted to hire these attorneys and have been referred to as Pro Se throughout these proceedings. What justification do his (co-executor Douglas) attorneys have to go into my share of the inheritance or his share of his inheritance. I believe they should only be allowed to invoice the person that retained and hired them, which is co-executor Douglas. The judge signed off on his attorney's motion to allow distribution from my share (Richard) and Douglas's share. I would like to know if I can bring this case to the Federal Court system citing the fifth and/or fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution each containing a due process clause.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, we see this all the time. A co executor has a dispute and gets an attorney to fight the estate and the attorneys then burn up all of the money in the estate fighting a frivolous battle and the attorneys then quit and leave the parties in the estate with less than they had to begin with.
If your brother hired the attorneys to represent himself, then legally you can file a motion to make your brother liable for the attorney's fees. However, if these attorneys took over managing the trust and fighting on behalf of the trust, then they are entitled to payment from the trust if the judge allowed them to dismiss the other attorney.
In a case like you describe above, your recourse is to sue Douglas for reimbursement of the fees by proving that the claims he filed against the estate and litigation he got the state involved in was a breach of fiduciary duty as it was frivolous and unnecessary for the estate without any legal basis.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am just reading your answer now. Thank you.Yes.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Do you have more information you would like, please ask.

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