PI lawsuit settled nine months ago, Plaintiff died 5 months ago, no will, attorney states they represent Plaintiff, is this possible? 9 Answers as of June 21, 2013

Whom does the Attorney Represent? No Will. Daughter was Legal Representative; Attorneys trying to avoid Probate! State they represent the Mother, Plaintiff (Who is Deceased) They will not make disclosure of the settlement disbursements (Fees, Depo's & Expenses, $1,500.00 advance for cremation expenses settling with Medi-Cal and Medi-Care) They are now requesting the 4 heirs to consent and agree to a distribution of settlement proceeds "1/4 of the proceeds awarded to her estate and 1/4 of the proceeds awarded to her heirs in satisfaction of any potential wrongful death claims." The settlement agreement signed back in August of 2012 was for $402,000.00; How do I get disclosure? Should I sign this 1/4 of What disbursement agreement? Should I file a Probate? Please Advise at your earliest opportunity. Thank You. P.S. Without Probate is not the daughter still the personal representative? (This law Firm has no client, correct?) I was advised by a Probate Attorney in Ca., that if the estate was $150K or less you can avoid probate?

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Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Why did it take the lawyer 5 months? Now, probate is required.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/3/2013
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C.
James E. Hasser, Jr. P.C. | Jim Hasser
Get a second opinion from a lawyer in the state where the case is being settled. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/3/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
You may be struggling unnecessarily. Why probate. The money belongs to the estate. If all of the heirs agree to divide the proceeds what is the problem? Where is the harm? Why go through probate or anything else if you all agree?
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 6/3/2013
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
Your situation is somewhat complicated.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/21/2013
Candiano Law Office
Candiano Law Office | Charles J. Candiano
No attorney in their right mind is going to give you legal advice online. Moreover, you have asked this question under Illinois law. You would need to contact a probate attorney who is licensed to practice in California as this was apparently a California estate, with California State liens.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 5/31/2013
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC
    The Law Office of Stephen R. Chesley, LLC | Stephen R. Chesley
    First of all if there is no will the proceeds will be distributed in accordance to administrative laws such as if no living spouse all children will receive equal shares. Not sure what you mean by legal representative. If you had power of attorney it ceases at death. A petition must be made to court appointing an administrator to over see estate and step into shoes of decedent to process the case. If a settlement is reached you must go back to court for an accounting of settlement whereby a court order will be provided stating how monies are to be distributed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Durham Jones & Pinegar | Erven Nelson
    You need to get a good probate lawyer to help you get to the bottom of this. The probate judge can order that the personal injury attorney produce copies of all relevant documents. Don't agree to anything without good legal advice. I can provide referrals in Nevada and California.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    If it were me, I would open a probate estate and get the law firm to distribute to the estate. But then I am an Idaho attorney and the attorneys here only charge an hourly rate for handling probate, so the cost would be minimal. If you are in California, I understand the attorneys can charge a percentage of the estate. So in answer to your question, I suggest you talk to a local attorney and have him or her explain to your what is going on.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/31/2013
    Hone Law Firm
    Hone Law Firm | John S. Hone
    The attorney represents the Personal Representative of the Estate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/31/2013
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