The ABA reports today that the estate of Rosa Parks (of civil rights bus-riding fame) owes some $243,000 in legal fees to the two court-appointed lawyers handling it.
The fee amount was made public by a court filing in the Michigan Supreme Court seeking leave to appeal the order granting the fees.
Most publicly embarrassing, perhaps, to the two attorneys appointed is not the fee amount but the fact that they have acquired the intellectual property rights to use the Parks name in lieu of cash payment of a portion of their attorney fees.
The article appears to state that virtually all of the cash value of the estate has been used up in attorney fees. This Michigan case is yet another example of a rule that is true in Georgia as well: the relatively low cost of paying a competent estate planning attorney on the front end rather than the tens of thousands (or more) the heirs may lose in attorney fees after the testatrix dies.
Though they cost a substantial multiple of your average plumber's fee per hour, specialized estate planning attorneys often save a complex estate an amount of money that is several times greater than the planning attorney's fee.
Tanner Pittman, LLC is a West Georgia law firm that specializes in estate services, civil litigation, and legal transactions.
Estate & Probate Blogs
Atlanta Probate Lawyer Blog
Alpharetta Probate Law Blog
Death and Taxes (the blog)
Florida Estate Planning Lawyer Blog
Georgia Wills, Trusts, and Estates Blog
Minnesota Estate Planning and Probate
North Carolina Estate Planning Blog
Ohio Estate Law Blog
San Diego Estate Center
Trial and Heirs
Wills and Estates Professors' Blog
Other Law Blogs