Who is responsible for paying legal fees when all monies in the estate are consumed?

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Who is responsible for paying legal fees when all monies in the estate are consumed?

I am the executor of my mother’s estate and I am under the impression that all the money will be used for bills. I am wondering if as executor I will be charged anything that is not able to be paid by the estate?

Asked on July 25, 2011 New York

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You as the executor are not financially liable for the bills of the estate unless you have done something outside the scope of your duties that would have caused the bills to accrue.  But what you so need to do is not pay A THING until you have every bill in place and all the funds and assets marshaled (gathered) so that you can get an idea about what you may want to do.  You have great power as the fiduciary of the estate and you have the power to declare the estate bankrupt if need be.  But maybe you can negotiate some of the bills and debt with the creditors explaining the situation and thus leaving you money to pay the legal fees and file the taxes, etc. Get help from an accountant as well as the lawyers.  Good luck.


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