Is it legal for probate attorney’s fees to be deducted from the sale proceeds of his house as settlement or closing fees

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal for probate attorney’s fees to be deducted from the sale proceeds of his house as settlement or closing fees

3,600 was deducted from the proceeds of my deceased brothers house payable to
the estate’s probate attorney and was not listed as disbursements and
distributions to the probate attorney on the final accounting form. The inventory
of assets and receipts listed the proceeds from the house as 3,600 less than the
sales proceeds. Is this legal? I looks like they were trying to hide additional
probate attorney fees to the probate attorney.

Asked on March 1, 2018 under Estate Planning, South Carolina


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Was it legal and was it properly accounted for are two different things.  Yes, it is legal to pay fees - all fees and legal costs are fees - from the proceeds of an estate.  The sale of the house in an estate can provide additional proceeds to draw from.  Was the legal fee on the closing document for title? Perhaps it is being recorded in that manner?  You have every right to question it and ask for a detailed accounting.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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