Contingency Fee Agreements in Probate Cases
Probate and trust disputes can become expensive and many individuals do not have the financial resources to pay hourly or flat legal fees for a Florida probate or trust litigation lawyer. Whether it is a breach of fiduciary duty, mismanagement of a Will or trust or any other number of inappropriate actions which may be undermining the wishes of your loved ones, limited resources should not prevent anyone from seeking justice and protecting the wishes of family members, friends or others who have passed. To pursue your rights and the rights of your loved ones, without incurring the financial burden of protracted probate litigation, you should seek a Florida probate litigation attorney who handles probate and trust cases on a contingency fee basis.
Florida Probate Case Contingency Fee Agreements
When a Florida probate and trust litigation lawyer accepts a case on a contingency fee basis, he or she agrees to litigate the case without receiving payment unless a recovery is obtained. Therefore, the legal fees are “contingent” upon receipt of a recovery through a settlement or court judgment. The amount of the contingency fee varies, because it is a percentage of the total recovery amount.
Benefits of Contingency Fee Agreements in Probate Cases
Many probate and trust litigation lawyers throughout Florida charge hourly legal rates or flat legal fees for probate and trust litigation cases. Often, an upfront retainer fee is required. With hourly and flat fee structures, the client assumes all of the financial risk, whereas contingency fee agreements place the risk upon the law firm in the event no recovery is received.
The most prominent benefit of contingency fee arrangements in probate and trust cases is that the contingency fee structure allows claimants to pursue probate or trust litigation despite not having the financial capacity to pay an hourly rate or flat fee. In addition, probate and trust litigation cases often continue for extended periods of time, involving numerous hours spent by attorneys working on the cases and substantial costs. Contingency fee arrangements place the costly burden of probate or trust litigation on the attorneys, whose compensation is contingent upon a recovery at the culmination of the case. In a common scenario where one child has been disinherited or has received a reduced inheritance and does not have the financial means to challenge the will or trust, a contingency fee agreement would enable him or her to file a lawsuit without upfront legal costs. Contingent fees are also beneficial in situations where a trustee, executor, or other fiduciary has administered funds in a manner that violates the terms of the trust or Will. In such a case, the fiduciary may be held personally liable for the improper disbursement or disposition of funds.
Probate cases in which a contingency fee agreement may be beneficial include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Will contests
- Trust contests
- Removal of an executor or trustee
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Mismanagement or misappropriation of trust assets
- Self-dealing by a trustee
- Mismanagement of the estate
- Beneficiary claims
- Elective share litigation
Experienced Florida Probate Trial Lawyers
At Kelley/Uustal, we only handle Florida probate and trust litigation cases on a contingency fee basis. You will not pay any upfront legal fees for your probate case; we only receive payment if you receive a recovery. Our Florida probate litigation lawyers have the experience, ability, and willingness to try probate cases for our clients in order to achieve a favorable outcome. If you have suffered harm by the actions of another beneficiary or a fiduciary, we can help you fight your probate claim. Call Kelley/Uustal today to schedule a free probate case evaluation with one of our skilled Florida probate litigation lawyers.