Q: My late mother paid a lawyer to file bankruptcy and paid him over $1000. Is her estate entitled to a refund?
My mother died while in the bankruptcy process with a lawyer, but when I asked another lawyer to search bankruptcy databases, he found nothing. So is my late mother's estate entitled to a refund from her lawyer?
Probably not. Most of the lawyer's work in a consumer bankruptcy, Ch. 7 or 13, must be done before the bankruptcy case is filed. Certainly, the Estate representative can request an accounting/refund from the bankruptcy lawyer, but you can expect that he/she will prepare a bill, showing time expended and pre-bankruptcy services provided, in an amount that equals or exceeds the $1,000.00.
Doesn't hurt to ask, though.
Mr. Winterstein is spot on.
Had the bankruptcy been filed there is a provision to complete it as if it is the probate estate; however, it appears that nothing was filed and accordingly, some information should be provided by the former lawyer.
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