Question Details:Lawyer sister-in-law wrote mom's Will and supported her husband (my brother) as executor. He discharges his duties through her, billed through her firm. Is this OK? I was asked to renovate the house by him; then he refused to pay any of my hours, stating beneficiaries couldn't be paid. Of 300 hours, I submitted only for actual physical improvements to the house itself which increased sale value by $50,000 for $5000 of labor/materials. Was I duped into working for free? When lawyer is questioned by beneficiaries, she will answer only to the executor. Should I consult an outside attorney? I'm in Madison, CT.
If you believe that the executor is acting outside the scope of his duties and is being aided by the attorney because of their relationship, then yes, I would indeed hire an attorney to represent your interests. It sounds as if your brother and his wife are getting the better deal here to your detriment. And even though it was noble of you to cut your hours for the work you did, I would submit a full invoice for the amount owed, especially given the amount of value increase your work amounted to.
FYI, the attorney for the estate only really has to answer to the executor but the executor has to answer to the beneficiaries and to the court. So get some help. Good luck.