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Court Rules on Fees to be Paid to the Guardian ad Litem


The decedent, a resident of Nassau County died on January 24, 2006 who on October 24, 2003 created the Revocable Trust U/A during which he executed his will now offered for probate. The instruments were drater by the long time attorney who supervised the execution of both documents. Bulk of the assets were transferred to the trust while he was alive, thus, the will is attributed as “catch all” document. The probates estate is counted at $10,000.00 while the trust holds asets is close to $1,000,000.00.

The guardian ad litem for the decedents daughter claims for his services in the amount of $2,828.00, he rendering 7.2 hours which shall be taken out of the estate. The statute governing the compensation of guardian ad litem provides tht fee is payable in the following consideration:

1. the estate
2. the interest of the person under disability
3. for good cause shown, any other party

the probate proceedings involves a will that pours over into a pre-existing inter vivos trust at which the guardian ad litem shall review and invetigate both the will and the trust. Thus, any remainder in the testamentary estate should there be any after everything is bequeath shall be made the source of the funds to pay the guardian ad litem.

A New York Probate Lawyer said it is the ultimate responsibility of the court to approve fees that are charged to the estate and has the discretion to determine what constitute reasonable compensation for legal services rendered in the course of the administration of an estate. It is a settled rule that while there is no clear cut rule in calculating the compensation to an attorney in every case, the court is required to exercise thhe authority with reason, proper discretion and not arbitrarily .

It is a settled rule in jurisprudence that in evaluating the legal services, the court considers the following: 1) the time spent; 2) the complexity of the questions involved; 3) the nature of the services provided; 4) the amount and complexity of litigation required; 5) the amounts involved and the benefit resulting from the execution of such services; 6) the lawyers experience and reputation; 7) the customary fee charged by the Bar for similar services. Additionally, the value of the estate shall be taken into consideration in order to fix the reasonable compensation. Thus, a sizeable estate permits adequate compensation.

NYC Probate Lawyers said herein the court cannot apply only selected factors but should be strike a balance by considering all the elements. Next, a legal fee must commensurate to the probate estate size and to the interest of the ward of the guardian ad litem as well as the time spent by the guardian in fixing the reasonable compensation.

All told, the fee for the services of the guardian ad litem may be charge to a party or to the estate. In legal fee, the value of the services lies on the reasonable value of legal services rendered by the attorney(s) in the case. Contemporaneous time records plays a part and absence of which little weight is given to estmates of time after services has been performed. The same principle applies to guardian ad litem.

In view of hereof, the fee requested by the guardian ad litem in the amount of $2,828.00 is approved and ordered that the same be paid within 30 days from the date of this decision.

Brushing aside ones claim is brushing aside the efforts surrounding the claim. Suffolk County Probate Lawyers said that in order to compensate the effort extended, the certainty in the claim and action instituted shall be clear and unequivocal. New York Estate Litigation Lawyers bears the highest reputation with regard to proving the value of the efforts of guardian ad litem and lawyers reasonable services in cases litigated in any tribunal. Here at Stephen Bilkis and Associates our experienced legal team can ensure that your rights are protected and you legal matter is handled with care.

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