Probate Court Rules in Connecticut for Fiduciary and Attorney’s Fees

Rule 39 of the Connecticut Probate Court Rules of Procedure discusses fiduciary and attorney’s fees for Probate Court proceedings. A “fiduciary’’ is a person serving as an administrator, executor, conservator of the estate, conservator of the person, guardian of an adult with intellectual disability, guardian of the estate of a minor, guardian of the person of a minor, temporary custodian of the person of a minor, trustee or person serving in any other role that the court determines is fiduciary in nature.

Fiduciary and Attorney’s Fees:

On motion of a fiduciary, the court may approve:

1. A proposed fee arrangement for the fiduciary or for the fiduciary’s attorney before the fiduciary or attorney has rendered services; or

2. A proposed fee for services already rendered by the fiduciary or attorney.

On motion of an attorney who does not represent a fiduciary but whose fees are payable by an estate, the court may approve a proposed fee arrangement before the attorney renders services or a proposed fee for services already rendered. The court may require the fiduciary to file a financial report or account before approving a proposed fee arrangement or proposed fee pursuant to this section if it determines that additional information about the estate is necessary to evaluate the reasonableness of the proposal.

Fiduciary and attorney’s fees not previously approved by the court are subject to review in connection with the financial report or account covering the period in which the fees are paid. The court shall determine whether the fiduciary and attorney’s fees are reasonable, whether or not an interested party raises an objection to the fees.

Task statement of fiduciary and attorney:

In reviewing a proposed fee for services already rendered, the court may require a fiduciary or attorney to submit a task statement describing the services performed. A fiduciary’s task statement shall address:

1. Size of the estate;

2. Responsibilities involved;

3. Character of the work required;

4. Special problems and difficulties met in doing the work;

5. Results achieved;

6. Knowledge, skill and judgment required;

7. Manner and promptness in which the matter was handled;

8. Time required; and

9. Other relevant and material circumstances.

An attorney’s task statement shall include a copy of the attorney’s engagement letter and shall address:

1. Time and labor required;

2. Novelty and difficulty of the questions involved;

3. Skill required to perform the legal service properly;

4. Likelihood, if made known to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the attorney;

5. Fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;

6. Value of the estate involved, results obtained and time limitations imposed by the client or circumstances;

7. Nature and length of the attorney’s professional relationship with the person whose estate is being administered or with the fiduciary;

8. Experience, reputation and ability of the attorney performing the services; and

9. Whether the fee is fixed or contingent.

By Maya Murphy, P.C., Connecticut
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joseph C. Maya, Esq.
Joseph C. Maya is the Managing Partner at Maya Murphy, P.C., and handles cases involving these legal issues in New York and Connecticut.

Copyright Maya Murphy, P.C.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws they may affect a case. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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