Asked in Personal Injury, Real Estate Law and Antitrust for Washington

Q: BC resident settled case from July 2015.Attorney held about $5000 in trust & has passed away.need help to recover funds

I am a BC resident involved in a MVA in July of 2015. Claim has been settled. However, my attorney held about $5000 in trust in order to pay back my insurance company. Before he was able to pay back, my attorney has died, and attorney who took over his files claims he has no idea about the deceased attorney's trust fund. I have paid back the insurance company out of pocket but am looking to recover the $5000 funds held in trust. I have applied for the client protection fund thru the Washington State Bar Association, however they have advised me to pursue other ways to recover the funds while the application is being reviewed. It may not be much, but need help to recover.

Thanks for considering

1 Lawyer Answer
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: It could be difficult to track down if the attorney did not make a notation of it in the checkbook for the trust fund account that the incoming attorney could identify. And it looks like the incoming attorney doesn't have information on it. Maybe the bank could assist you if they have any records. If someone has been appointed to handle the probate of the attorney's estate, if applicable, maybe that person could have information on it. Based on the situation of paying funds to an insurance company, it suggests the possibility of a subrogation claim. If an attorney for the carrier was assigned to the matter, you could request their assistance if they had any conversations with your MVA attorney mentioning imminent repayment of a lien. Keep records of all your efforts to present to the trust fund administrators so that if the matter remains unresolved, it could help in presenting evidence of your good faith efforts. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

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