From our “Ask a Question” form: I am a New Jersey resident serving as the Personal Representative of my mother’s Burlington County, New Jersey Estate. I hired a Burlington County attorney to probate the estate and help me administer the estate, but I cannot get her to return my calls. What can I do?
As the Personal Representative, the Probate Attorney works for you. You hire the Probate Attorney, and you can fire the Probate Attorney.
However, this happens more than you might think. Many attorneys fail to recognize that we work in a service industry, and that client satisfaction is important!
Most of us feel comfortable enough to send food back to a restaurant’s kitchen if our order comes out cold. Likewise, if someone’s remodeling your kitchen, you’d make them do it again if they didn’t follow your instructions. If you’re not getting the service you expect, you can easily retain a new Probate Attorney. Your first attorney must turn over the files to the new attorney.
Further, remember you are responsible for the estate’s progress. If the Probate Attorney is not moving quickly enough, the beneficiaries may have a complaint against you. If deadlines are not met, especially tax deadlines, and interest or penalties are levied, then you could be surcharged as the Executor or Personal Representative. The Probate Lawyer’s job is to keep you out of trouble, not create trouble.
If you have questions about avoiding Probate in Burlington County, feel free to contact our office for a free consultation.