Dealing with my parents' lawyer.


My parents' lawyer has sent some really strange-looking bills. When I asked abouth a whole 2/10ths of an hour to read one email, I ccouldn't believe it.
Also, there is no indication whether they initiated a phone call, or someone else did.
If this is m parents' lawyer, why would there be line items for discussions with anybody other than my parents, anyhow? Wouldn't the lawyer have to ask permission to be running up a bill?

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Thanks Maggie. I have had some good conversation with parents. They want to keep this lawyer, but when I laid out all the bills for just his past year's worth of "work" for them, well the best thing happened, they were upset.
I had to show them all the bills in one place, take out the old.fashioned calculator and add it up for them. They were SO surprised. Neither of them want this to continue. They've got limited funds.
So they are writing notes to each one of kids to say, hands off the lawyer, it is just too expensive to have Every One of you calling or emailing.
Whew. That is a whole lot easier than complaining to state bar assn.
I have no problem with an hour once a year on review, or if folks initiate some change. The lawyer should have some sense of their limited funds and not be racking up bills, so its good the parents are taking a simple step to correct this.

Well, just because you have your parents' DPOA doesn't mean you get to control or otherwise limit attorney billing. Or anything else for that matter. Too many people have the mistaken belief that having a DPOA means you can control the other person. You cannot. Unless they let you.

The discussion you need to have is with your parents.

"Mom, dad, I'm concerned about the attorney's billing and the legal advice you're paying for -- and, apparently, that you've given permission to the attorney to charge you for time spent with other people on your behalf. How about if you let me wrap my arms around that and you let me liaison with the attorney on your behalf?"

You're trying to understand something in retrospect. You don't know what arrangement the attorney has with your folks. To report the attorney doesn't make sense to me. For what? For charging your parents for time spent?

I'd just try to straighten it out going forward. And without your parents' permission, you can't change one iota about the relationship they have with their attorney. Since this is a friend of the family, it's possible your parents are using him as a sounding board, etc., and don't realize they're being charged $250 an hour for his time (or whatever).

Straighten out your parents. Then, with their permission, straighten out their attorney. In writing.

I wouldn't be worrying about the lawyer's reputation! You are already questioning it and it should be investigated. Why allow this to happen to someone else (if there is a problem)?

the concern is that my parents have changed their DPOA to be me. Former DPOA was not keeping tabs on bills. So I am left to pick up the pieces, so to speak, and I don't like what I see. There's been these wierd lawyer bills, dubious bills for entertainment (shall we say!!) and while I'm glad my parents finally saw the Light.
I talked with our State Bar assoc, they said to file a complaint....but I dont want to spoil the lawyer reputation,
Just seemed confusing there is not a full Disclosure, anywhere, of what Services the law office will do at what price, are my folks on a retainer (seems not). The lawyers seems like they aren't concerned about being Efficient. Some of the phone calls--how can they charge for talking to a realtor about my parents issues? How can they charge for talking to beneficiaries? Isn't anything private?
So do I just shut up & put up? Let the lawyer continue to take phone calls/emails from anybody under the sun, and bill the folks for it?
The lawyer is a long-time "friend" (choking to say that!).

Give them to the DPOA and let him worry about it, it's his job. Billable hours are usually broken into tenths. email is cheaper than phone calls if the DPOA is offshore somewhere.

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