Learn Important Probate Essentials, including key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.
When can the Estate cover attorney’s fees? This is a common question with a somewhat complicated answer. We’ll cover the basics in this post.
My name is Erik Broel & I am the founder & CEO of Georgia Probate Law Group. At our firm we help families who have lost a loved one navigate the complex and confusing legal process so they can make sure the estate is handled properly and their loved one’s memory is honored. Everything discussed in this video is for general information and is not legal advice – for specific information about your situation, please go to here to request a complimentary consultation with one of our estate probate lawyers.
Attorneys fees are a common and complicated topic in an Estate situation. In this video, we will focus only on the Personal Representative’s attorney’s fees in uncontested situations – attorneys fee questions get even more complicated when there is a dispute.
First, it is important to understand who the attorney represents. In Georgia, the attorney represents the Personal Representative of the Estate. The attorney does not represented the Estate per
se because the Estate does not exist under Georgia law separate from the Personal Representative.
So, since it is the Personal Representative that has engaged the attorney, it is the Personal Representative that is responsible for the fees.
Georgia Law permits estate assets to be used to pay the legal fees (and to reimburse the Personal Representative for fees previously paid) in a couple of different ways. Which way applies to a particular situation will depend on what powers the Personal Representative has.
First, if the Personal Representative is serving with full expanded powers, then the Personal Representative is permitted to reimburse and pay attorney’s fees without securing any additional permission from the Probate Court. It is important to note that anything less than full expanded powers may not be sufficient.
Second, if the Personal representative does not have full expanded powers, then estate assets may only be used to pay attorneys fees with permission of the Probate Court. Securing this permission can be done in a few ways. Sometimes it is done at the beginning of the case, sometimes in the middle, and sometimes at the end. Which one makes more sense will depend on the particular situation in the case.
For more information about this and other probate topics, please go to GPLG.com/Handbook to download a complimentary copy our Georgia Probate Handbook. You’ll learn the key things that go wrong in an estate, how to prevent them, and what to do if they happen.
You also can reach out to our office at (770) 796-4582 to set up a consultation.
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