Can a beneficiary of a Will charge for their time regarding maintenance and upkeep of estate property?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a beneficiary of a Will charge for their time regarding maintenance and upkeep of estate property?

My brother is 1 of 3 beneficiaries in my mother’s Will. Everyone had work at the house and selling off personal items, cleaning, mowing and upkeep. He is the only one charging for his work; $14,000. He is claiming hours that he was there and saying it took 2 days @ 9 hours each day to mow. However, it only takes 3 hours a day. Additionally, he is charging gas for driving, plus claiming up to 11 hours of work in 1 day. There is no one to prove he did this or was even there the days that he says he was. He has now hired a lawyer and is trying to charge the estate for the fees. Is this extortion? He also owes the estate himself of $4000.

Asked on October 8, 2010 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss and for your troubles.  Anyone who does work in order to make the house presentable for sale can charge a fee for the services that they perform.  As to whether or not that fee is legitimate and can hold up in court is another story.  He will have to prove that he did the work.  Likewise you can charge for having to do work in the house that could have been done by those hired: cleaning, cleaning out, etc.  Is there an attorney helping with probate?  He or she should be able to advise the personal representative of the estate on how to proceed in this matter.  And then how to resolve it without having to use the remaining estate funds fighting over the issue.  Good luck. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption