In this video attorney Curt Runger explains what the cost of conservatorship will and the process that goes along with it. View the video below or see the transcript to hear Curt’s explanation for this confusing topic.
Hi my name is Curt Rucker and I’m an attorney in Memphis, Tennessee, and I help give my clients peace of mind by navigating that through the probate process. So, one question that I have asked pretty frequently by people who are calling to establish a conservatorship is; how much is this thing going to cost? And the answer is, it depends. And I know you’re probably sitting back here watching this video and saying, Oh, of course, leave it to the lawyer to say, it depends I’m not getting a straight answer from this guy on his video about what does a conservatorship costs but I will say this. So, the cost is dependent on a couple of different factors and first and foremost, one factor that is the most critical in determining what it’s actually going to cost this is this thing going to be contested and now I can test it. I mean, not just is the respondent going to fight the conservatorship and if they’re going to fight the conservatorship obviously it’s going to be much more expensive than if it’s uncontested but because tested can also mean. Are there going to be multiple parties fighting over who is actually going to be conservatorship, who is actually going to be conservative over over that respondent. Obviously if everybody in a family is on the same page. The cost goes down and it’s, you know, the better the chances are to control the costs. You know, another thing that can dictate the cost is, are we just going to have a conservatorship over the person, or is it actually going to be a conservatorship over the estate as well. So, if you’ll recall you know conservatorship of the person is simply just where the conservator is appointed to make decisions for an individual about you know healthcare and day to day type of stuff. If the respondent actually has money and funds that need to be accounted for as well then it will require a conservatorship over the estate and that’s a little bit more complex in the sense that there’s other things that we as attorneys have to prepare for those types of conservatorship proceedings that actually brought the court costs and the attorneys fees up. So, but basically, you know, in a nutshell, you’d be looking at the low end for attorneys fees if this was just a conservatorship over the person. It was uncontested. You know, there’s no question that the respondents in need of a conservator on the low end you could be looking at, you know, 1500 and attorneys fees plus your court costs, you know on the higher end if it’s a conservatorship over the estate or if it’s going to be contested, you know you can be looking up to like a $5,000 retainer on, you know, a contested conservatorship. Now one thing to keep in mind so the individual who is going to be the petitioner or the proposed conservator in most cases, you know they are responsible for payment of those attorneys fees, up front. However, if a conservatorship is actually established and there is property that the respondent has, the petitioner can actually be reimbursed for the money that they spend on the attorney’s fees. So that’s something to keep in mind . Another thing to keep in mind is, you know, all firms are kind of different and, you know, there are situations where we actually will handle a conservatorship on a flat fee. If we are pretty pretty certain that it’s going to go through and it’s going to be uncontested, you know, in certain certain, certain situations we can actually do it for a flat fee, but you know when we’re not quite sure what the outcome is and I think most attorneys are like this at least in our market, you’re going to pay a retainer up front and then whoever the attorney is is working on a conservatorship is going to keep track of their time that they spend on the actual proceeding. So, you know, you’ll, they’ll bill against your retainer at an hourly rate. And you’ll receive an itemized statement showing exactly how much time was dedicated on the conservatorship case, what that translates to in terms of attorneys fees, and so on and so forth. And then there’s also situations to where, you know, if we know that a conservatorship is very very likely to be established and this is, these actually fewer and far between. But there is a significant amount of assets that a respondent has such that, you know, we feel comfortable that we’re going to be able to get conservatorship established, there are certain situations where some attorneys and we’ve done in the past can actually defer payment of attorneys fees, up front. And then, you know, ask the court to approve attorneys fees from the respondents properties now that is, that is, you know, it’s typically not what we do actually but that is actually that is actually an option for certain cases where that would be appropriate. If you have any other questions about conservatorship in Tennessee please give me a call.
If you have any further questions do not hesitate to call Curt or his team at Douglass & Runger, PLLC at (901) 388-5805 relating to other questions about conservatorships.