Do beneficiaries have the authority to discuss the succession with the engaged attorney and be present at meetings between the attorney and the executor?

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Do beneficiaries have the authority to discuss the succession with the engaged attorney and be present at meetings between the attorney and the executor?

Are the legal rules made up as we go along? Can an attorney hired to probate the will be fired and replaced by other legal counsul? Is it unethical for an attorney to not question if both co-executors agreed to only one handling the financial affairs of the estate? Hired attorney never questioned if we agreed on the matter. I have paid with consult with another attorney. He did not allow me to talk.

Asked on May 13, 2013 under Estate Planning, Louisiana

Answers:

Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The attorney represents the executor, not the beneficiaries. So the attorney can (and should) meet with the executor outside the presence of the beneficiaries. A new attorney can be hired to replace the old one, but the executor chooses which attorney to hire. The beneficiaries don't have authority to fire the estate's attorney. However, if the court has appointed you as a co-executor, I don't understand why the attorney would refuse to talk to you. 

You can certainly talk to and hire an attorney to represent only you and protect your interests as a beneficiary. 


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