Surrogate Nora Anderson

 

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In this uncontested petition, the attorney/executor sought to fix legal fees of her law firm for legal services rendered since decedent’s 2013 death. She now sought to fix the firm’s fees of $22,187.42 consisting of fees and disbursements. The court noted an attorney was not permitted legal fees for rendering services executorial in nature. A review of the billing records showed nearly $4,680 in fees were billed as legal services, but were executorial in nature. Hence, the court reduced the legal fees by $4,680, noting, however, these executorial services were compensable by executor’s commissions. Further, it reduced the legal fees by $1,700 representing different general and vague entries the court could not ascertain if they were legal or executorial services. Also, the court reduced fees by $1,900 representing a partial reduction for entries containing descriptions of both legal and executorial services combined. The court also denied certain expenditures executor requested that were administration expenses, not legal disbursements, thus improper subjects of this proceeding. It also disapproved reimbursement for postage and express mail fees finding them office overhead. As petitioner paid $21,616.67 in legal fees before court approval, she was directed to pay interest on the sum to the estate.

Surrogate Nora Anderson

 

Read Full-Text Decision

In this uncontested petition, the attorney/executor sought to fix legal fees of her law firm for legal services rendered since decedent’s 2013 death. She now sought to fix the firm’s fees of $22,187.42 consisting of fees and disbursements. The court noted an attorney was not permitted legal fees for rendering services executorial in nature. A review of the billing records showed nearly $4,680 in fees were billed as legal services, but were executorial in nature. Hence, the court reduced the legal fees by $4,680, noting, however, these executorial services were compensable by executor’s commissions. Further, it reduced the legal fees by $1,700 representing different general and vague entries the court could not ascertain if they were legal or executorial services. Also, the court reduced fees by $1,900 representing a partial reduction for entries containing descriptions of both legal and executorial services combined. The court also denied certain expenditures executor requested that were administration expenses, not legal disbursements, thus improper subjects of this proceeding. It also disapproved reimbursement for postage and express mail fees finding them office overhead. As petitioner paid $21,616.67 in legal fees before court approval, she was directed to pay interest on the sum to the estate.