What Duty Does A Personal Representative Have To Hire Counsel?
Most of the duties of a personal representative may be pretty obvious. For example, paying off estate debts, paying estate taxes and distributing estate property to beneficiaries are all part of the duties of any personal representative. There are many instances, however, where there may be some sort of legal issue involved where a Miami estate attorney or other attorney is needed. In a case such as that, the personal representative may wonder if he or she is allowed to hire counsel to represent the estate. The answer is that they are, and there are almost countless reasons why this may be needed.
Most commonly, you will see personal representatives having to file a lawsuit when it comes to wrongful death lawsuits that surround the death of the decedent. If, let’s say, the decedent was the victim of a car accident with a drunk driver, then there would be extremely strong grounds for a lawsuit. Not only would such a lawsuit be on behalf of the family, for losses such as loss of companionship of the deceased person, but the lawsuit would be on behalf of the person who died, for their pain and suffering caused by the accident, for example. In such a situation, there are actually multiple plaintiffs to the suit. One set would be the family of the decedent, and the other party would be the estate of the decedent. In such a case, it would be common for the same attorney to handle the entire case, and the personal representative has the right to retain the services of an attorney for this purpose.
There are other reasons that a personal representative can hire an attorney as well. If there are lawsuits that would affect the estate, such as a property line dispute regarding estate property owned solely by the decedent or someone owing a debt to the decedent, the personal representative also would be able to hire an attorney for those kinds of suits.
Finally, a personal representative is also allowed to hire an attorney to represent an estate against a lawsuit. One of the most common types of cases against an estate would be if the it is alleged that the decedent was negligent in a personal injury case and then died before a claim was filed. Just because the allegedly negligent party dies, does not mean that the case dies, meaning that it would be the duty of the personal representative to hire legal representation to protect the value of the estate.
If you are the personal representative of an estate where there is the possibility of legal action outside probate, you should hire a Miami estate attorney right away. Outside of whatever the non-probate lawsuit may be, there are estate considerations that you must think of, such as your duty to preserve the estate. Through having an attorney, you will have a guide through the entire process to make sure that everything is done correctly. Call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (786) 522-1411.