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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55709
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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I was an executor of an estate. If the lawyer says they didnt

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I was an executor of an estate. If the lawyer says they didn't have you sign an Agreement for Legal Services and then bill you more than $10,000 over a year later for a simple estate, what's your recourse? Caught mistakes in paper before it went out but am now worried if all necessary work was done properly. How can I be sure? What should I do to approach or resolve the situation without conflict or more expense?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. So, just to be clear, the attorney did not enter into an engagement letter with you?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have a signed photo copy but he told me they didn't have me sign one.

Thanks so much for following up. The attorney is going to have to be able to substantiate that the two of you had an agreement regarding his fees, that these fees are in conformance with such agreement, and that he adequately performed his legal services in a competent and timely manner. If there is no signed agreement, then he is going to have a difficult time sustaining his burden of proof that the two of you agreed upon the terms of representation and since he can't prove the existence of an agreement, he's not going to be able to sustain his burden that the services performed were agreed upon by you and that his fees are acceptable to you. Finally, given the existence of a multitude of mistakes, you're likely to be able to sustain a claim that he did not perform his services competently or timely. So, given this, you would want to tell him you'd like to resolve this amicably, but that if you can't resolve it amicably on terms acceptable to you, that not only do you not plan on paying this bill, but that you also are going to file an ethics complaint against him with the state bar and file a legal malpractice claim against him. This should be all you need to resolve this quickly and in your favor.

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