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TexLaw, Attorney
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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My ex-wife is finalizing the paperwork on a permanent disability

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My ex-wife is finalizing the paperwork on a permanent disability settlement (LNI, work-related) with WA state. Her lawyer is asking her to sign a durable power of attorney that allows the law firm to deduct a portion of every disbursement she receives relative to the pertinent settlement agreement for payoff of their fee. All deductions and total dollar amounts are specified in a separate contractual agreement.
Does this sound like a normal and safe way to handle this kind of negotiation?
Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to answer your question.

Did your ex-wife sign up a retainer agreement with the law firm that is representing her which states that your ex-wife would have to pay certain percentage of the entire recovery by the law firm as contingent legal fees and is this law firm simply wants your ex-wife to sign an agreement which would allow the law firm collect their percentage from every disbursement that your ex-wife will receive as a result of the settlement?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi, Alex -

Yes, that seems to be the precise intent. The concern is that the power of attorney seems too vague - language like "anything we need to do". Is that customary/expected?



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Relist: Incomplete answer. need further clarification/reassurance


Durable power of attorney seems to be too big a stick to ensure fee payment. Could the same assurance be achieved with a non-durable power of attorney?

Does the signer have a way to revoke/cancel a durable POA? How about a non-durable?




New attorney here. A power of attorney which grants the firm a right to deduct their fees from the payments is typical in these situations. However, you would want to make sure that the power of attorney is not overly broad.

The fact that the POA is durable as opposed to non-durable only means that the POA will still be effective if your wife dies or is legally incapacitated.

Can you quote the language of the POA to me for further analysis?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Sending shortly...

thanks. if you cannot attach to this answer, you can send [email protected] attn: zdnlaw re:

I am about to sign off for the evening, but will address this question tomorrow morning.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Appreciate that.

I will send details when my ex returns from her doctor appt.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Here's the POA text: true and lawful attorney for me and in my name place and stead and for my use and benefit to cash any and all workers compensation warrants or checks concerning claim <number> for the purpose of deducting attorneys fees and costs.

I <name> give to my said attorney(s) full power and authority to do and perform all and every act and thing whatsoever requisite and necessary to the execution of the powers herein granted as fully and to all intents and purposes as I might or could do if personally present. I hereby ratify and confirm all that my said attorney or a member of the law firm shall lawfully do or cause to be done by virtue of this power of attorney. This power of attorney shall not be affected by disability of the principal and shall otherwise continue in full force and effect until revoked by subsequent writing.


Also wondering whether the revocation process should be clarified. This is all said about it. Is there a legal default?


Rob Courtney

Thanks Rob,

The POA here is specifically limited so that the law firm may only cash the checks for the purposes of removing their fees and then disbursing the money to your ex-wife.

The language within the POA which grants broad powers is specifically limited so that those powers may only be exercised for the specific purpose of cashing the checks.

In regard to revocation, the common law provides the rules regarding this and no further language is needed in the agreement to protection your ex-wife's revocation powers. All that she needs to do to revoke the POA is to send the law firm and the workers compensation insurance company which is paying the checks a written statement that she is revoking the POA.

Does that help clear things up for you? Are there any further concerns you have about this?
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
TexLaw and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thanks very much!

I believe this clears up my concerns. I feel much better about my ex's transaction.

Rob Courtney

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