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How to deal with dead clients/persons

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Top 100 Contributor
Posts 32
Hassan Maje Posted: Wed, Jan 6 2010 1:16 PM

We would have matters for a client and then he/she dies. What happens then while the matter is continuing? Do we change the name of the client? When a dead client's estate needs to be sorted out we open a matter but we create a client called "Estate of .....". Is that correct? In most cases the costs would be paid from the Estate's assets. If the fees & costs is being paid by a relative, we change the Billing party. And also if a walk in individual instructs us to do some work related to their dead kin, we would open the matter under that walk in client's name who will be paying our costs.

I would like to know if the above is the correct way of handling this or if not what is the right way of doing it.


Hassan Maje Anjarwalla & Khanna PCLawPro Ver 9.10d, Accounting Method: Accruals
Top 75 Contributor
Posts 57

The matter name is up to you, but I suggest using the same format used by the jurisdiction where the Estate is filed. Generally, the name of the matter should be "Estate of Last, First" or "Last, First Estate of".

The name of the client would be the contact that has hired your firm to assist them with the estate, usually this is the Personal Representative or the Executor. 

David Michael, Michael Matters, Inc Time & Billing Matters • PC Law • Wilmington, NC Toll Free 877.880.2440 -mind over matters-

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