Legal Fees Rejected for Will Contest Losers

By Doug Chalgian on March 21, 2024

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This is a Chalgian and Tripp case, and one I have written about before.

Background is:  Our client challenged a document purporting to be his father’s will on theories of undue influence and lack of capacity –  and won.

In Braun Kendrick v Estate of Matthew Scott, the losing party’s lawyers sought to recover their fees for the period of time that their client was acting as personal representative under the will subsequently determined to be invalid. [To read the case, click on the name.]

The trial court denied the claim for fees and in this unpublished decision, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirms.

In reaching its conclusion, the COA says that to get your legal fees from the estate, your client has to be acting in “good faith,” and where the fact-finder decides that your client is defending a document that was procured through undue influence from an incompetent testator, there can be no finding of good faith.

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mm By: Doug Chalgian
Doug Chalgian

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