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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38773
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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Please help me. I hired an attorney to help me in making sure

Customer Question

Please help me. I hired an attorney to help me in making sure the Executor of my father's estate handled things properly and did not hide any assets. My lawyer has done nothing, not even filing requests that the Inventory be annually reported, which my brother failed to do. I have an agreement with my lawyer that he will receive 15% of my inheritance to investigate the missing assets and keep my brother on track. Now the estate is about to be disbursed, and my lawyer refuses to answer any of my questions unless I state that I am "honoring our agreement", which is in writing. He is stressing this because I have asked him numerous times to tell me what he has done, and if the amount of work he has done equals the $4,000 he will get. He never answers me except to ask again if I will honor our agreement. Not knowing the purpose of the Massachusetts Bar Association, and needing advice on what my lawyer is responsible to do, I called them, and they called him, and now he refuses to help me when I have a question. I tell him repeatedly that I want to pay him for the work he has done and will do, and to please give me a breakdown, which he ignores. I don't want a lengthy legal battle trying to get him to act in my best interests. What can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.

While I can understand that this is a bit extreme, but have you considered firing him outright?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I have, but the Bar Association recommended that I did not, since we are at the very last hour. I am still considering it, however. If I DO fire him, can he hold up my inheritance or put a lien on it, and if so, how long would this process take before I can access my money?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Regina,

Thank you for your follow-up. While I do see the Bar's quite legitimate suggestion, perhaps creation of a paper trail for yourself is now in order. You may want to consider sending him a certified letter with a deadline for break-down of what he has and has not accomplished, what he is going to perform, and your questions. Remind him that he is still technically your attorney AND that failure to provide you with guidance and representation, especially if it ends up harming your interests, could be considered malpractice and an ethical violation under the Massachusetts Rules on Professional Conduct. (Here is the link to the rules, if you decide to review them for yourself: http://www.mass.gov/obcbbo/rpcnet.htm)

Furthermore, in the letter give a deadline and state that if he fails to inform you by the allotted time, you will consider him to have done nothing and will terminate his representation and consider further legal action. That, by itself, should be sufficient to elicit a response. And if not, then firing him will give you a basis to contest his lien or bill, file a genuine grievance, and potentially pursue him for malpractice if you do become genuinely injured by the disbursement of the inheritance.

Good luck and please take care.

Sincerely,


Dimitry, Esq.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. I am concerned that this process may cause him to put a lien on my inheritance, and/or cause a long delay in my receiving it. What can I expect if I do take your advice, and is there anything more I can do to receive proper legal help? I live in Hawaii and the matter is taking place in Massachusetts, and I have to either file a Notice of Appearance and Objection, or ignore my brother's (the Executor) lawyer's Citation for Petition for Order of Complete Settlement of Estate, since I refused to sign an Assent that my brother has revealed all assets (he hasn't) and that I release him from future investigation. There is $800,000 that has not been revealed. Thank you!

 

P.S. I need to send the MPC505A by Overnight Delivery before 4 p.m. Hawaiian Time (it is now Sunday evening, 8:19 p.m. here) I'm sorry for the short notice; I just found your site an hour ago, and many thanks for a rush reply, if possible!

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Regina,

 

Please allow me to stop you right there, at least for the moment--I just wanted to clarify that while I am a licensed attorney, I am not your attorney, and what I provide is not 'legal advice'. This is legal information that is designed to help you make a decision, but if you are seeking actual legal advice, consider retaining local counsel to assist you.

 

As for receiving proper legal help, typically probate is not considered high priority for LegalAid especially if you could retain the original attorney. That entity tends to focus on family and matrimonial issues, criminal matters, and landlord-tenant as those areas tend to be considered more indispensable. If you are seeking counsel, please consider browsing and hiring someone else, potentially after reviewing sites such as www.avvo.com and www.martindale.com. If you find someone locally, they could send you over a power of attorney and represent you directly. Plus, you can review their past client testimonials and see for yourself if this is a good fit.

 

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Are you able to answer my question about whether or not this lawyer could delay my inheritance or put a lien on it?

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Regina,

 

Sure thing and sorry I did not mention it. An attorney could potentially place a request to the opposing counsel about the underlying debt and request the he first be paid, or that the inheritance go to him so that he could remove his obligation and pay you the rest. Likewise if he can provide a valid contract, he could use that as a means of placing a lien against the amount. You could likewise fight it, but it may take time to get it resolved.

 

Good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

That seems likely, I'm sure he will do just that, and that is very bad news, but thank you Dimitry, I greatly appreciate your help. If you feel called to elaborate further, please do, and have a great day!

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Regina,

 

I honestly do not know this person and cannot assume what he will do, but in terms of later justifying his actions, if he is unable to provide proof and evidence of any work, pursuing such a lien may not really be very productive for him. It may work short-term but long term it would give you a basis to pursue him for damages. Good luck and kindly do not forget to positively rate my answers so I can obtain credit for my work.

 

Thank you!

Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38773
Experience: Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
Dimitry K., Esq. and 9 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

That was invaluable, Dimitry, I am very very satisfied with your help, and will rate your service Excellent! I will sign up for a membership, and will be sure to request you! Many thanks, again!

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Regina,

That is quite truly the nicest compliment and I genuinely appreciate it. Please have a wonderful week, and should you need me again, I will be there to try to help. Please take care!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, Dimitry, I meant it, you really did help me quite a lot. I won't hesitate to contact you again when I need more help in the future. I hope you have a great week, too!

Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
You are most welcome, Regina. Glad to do it!

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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq.
Attorney at Law
16644 Satisfied Customers
Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.