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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 100024
Experience:  Lawyer
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My mother in law wants to pay me $25,000.00 out of an estate

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My mother in law wants to pay me $25,000.00 out of an estate valued at over $250,000.00 for helping her win a $75,000.00 settlement against her deceased husbands brother. He sued the estate for the entire amount unsuccessfully and we won our counter-suit. I handled all issues with legal counsel on her behalf over a 5 year period. The time spent in defending the estate as well as winning the counter-suit was extensive. She simply wants to with-draw the money from the estate account and then divide what's remaining between her and 3 other heirs. Does she have the legal power to do so?
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No she cannot do that.

Unless you were retained by the executor and there was an agreement that you be paid for your services there is no basis for the executor to decide not to follow the terms of the Will.

She cannot on her own decide to take some of the money left to the other beneficiaries and give it to you.

Let me know if you need any further clarification.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My mother-in-law is the executrix of the will and she did in fact hire me to help her out in this lawsuit as she lacked the necessary skills. All the documentation between the lawyer and the estate was handled and addressed to me. She was there only to make absolutely sure everything was done for the benefit of the the estate. Please consider, if it's an issue, had I not helped her the entire estate may have been lost.

I am not the decision maker. You don't have to convince me.

I understand why she wants to pay you.

She would have to prove that you earned the money.

So, for example, if you were a paralegal and kept track of your hours that would work.

Do you see what I mean.

I could be that you did keep track of your hours and that the amount she is suggesting would be fair based on these hours.

I can't know what is fair.

But a Court will want proof that you did earn this amount of money.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, one final question. Your response simply said the court needs proof and I am certainly willing to provide it should they need it. I still don't know however, if she is legally able to take the money out now and pay me. She (and I) would most certainly be able to argue the point should the other heirs contest it. There is some urgency in getting this done as she is 78 years old and I don't really want to be in a situation to fight this should, god forbid have anything happen to her. So, if she does it...what would the legal ramifications be? If we fight and lose, I would most certainly give the money back.

She could be liable for the money herself.

And she could be removed as executor.
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