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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    16

    Default Can a Lawyer Acting as Co-Trustee and Co-Executor Bill the Estate for Legal Services

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: NY

    I am a co-trustee and co-executor of an estate and a trust. A lawyer is my co-trustee and co-executor. When my family member passes away, my uncle expects that my co-trustee/co-executor will be acting as the lawyer for the estate.

    As such, can he bill the estate as both a lawyer and as an executor and trustee?

    (hope I explained this correctly!)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,060

    Default Re: Can a Lawyer Acting as Co-Trustee and Co-Executor Bill the Estate for Legal Servi

    There is no estate and no-executor while the person his still alive. Once he dies, there is an estate and executor(s) are apointed. The will is a strong indication who will be appointed executor, but that doesn't matter until it is probated.

    What sort of trust are we talking about? It would be largely counterproductive to name someone other than the grantor trustee now. Naming you successor trustee would be more common (is that what happened?).

    The trust document should state what the trustee(s) can get for administering the trust. Nothing wrong with a lawyer being executor or trustee. In fact, my sister (a lawyer) is my sucessor trustee and proposed executor. There's no "double dipping." He gets paid for administering the trust likely as an attorney (whether it technically required an attorney or not).

    The issue I do have is that co-executors/co-trustees are usually not a good idea. Better to just name the person who you trust to administer things as the trustee/executor and then allow them to hire whatever legal assistance they see fit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    98,846

    Default Re: Can a Lawyer Acting as Co-Trustee and Co-Executor Bill the Estate for Legal Servi

    Quote Quoting flyingron
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    The issue I do have is that co-executors/co-trustees are usually not a good idea. Better to just name the person who you trust to administer things as the trustee/executor and then allow them to hire whatever legal assistance they see fit.
    I very much agree. If there are compelling reasons to use a lawyer or institutional trustee, with all of the cost that entails, it's better to go with the lawyer or institution; if there is not, and an appropriate family member is willing to serve, then it generally makes sense to avoid that cost.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    7,311

    Default Re: Can a Lawyer Acting as Co-Trustee and Co-Executor Bill the Estate for Legal Servi

    Quote Quoting lisaj1354
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    As such, can he bill the estate as both a lawyer and as an executor and trustee?
    If the lawyer performs the duties of each role he or she may certainly charge the estate or trust, as applicable, for the work done in each role.

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