Rule 5.313 Compensation of Attorneys

(A) Reasonable Fees and Costs. An attorney is entitled to receive reasonable compensation for legal services rendered on behalf of a personal representative, and to reimbursement for costs incurred in rendering those services. In determining the reasonableness of fees, the court must consider the factors listed in MRPC 1.5(a). The court may also take into account the failure to comply with this rule.

(B) Written Fee Agreement. At the commencement of the representation, the attorney and the personal representative or the proposed personal representative must enter into a written fee agreement signed by them. A copy of the agreement must be provided to the personal representative.

(C) Records. Regardless of the fee agreement, every attorney who represents a personal representative must maintain time records for services that must reflect the following information: the identity of the person performing the services, the date the services are performed, the amount of time expended in performing the services, and a brief description of the services.

(D) Notice to Interested Persons. Within 14 days after the appointment of a personal representative or the retention of an attorney by a personal representative, whichever is later, the personal representative must mail to the interested persons whose interests will be affected by the payment of attorney fees, a notice in the form substantially approved by the State Court Administrator and a copy of the written fee agreement. The notice must state:

(1) the anticipated frequency of payment,

(2) that the person is entitled to a copy of each statement for services or costs upon request,

(3) that the person may object to the fees at any time prior to the allowance of fees by the court,

(4) that an objection may be made in writing or at a hearing and that a written objection must be filed with the court and a copy served on the personal representative or attorney.

(E) Payment of Fees. A personal representative may make, and an attorney may accept, payments for services and costs, on a periodic basis without prior court approval if prior to the time of payment

(1) the attorney and personal representative have entered a written fee agreement;

(2) copies of the fee agreement and the notice required by subrule (D) have been sent to all interested persons who are affected;

(3) a statement for services and costs (containing the information required by subrule [C]) has been sent to the personal representative and each interested person who has requested a copy of such statement; and

(4) no written, unresolved objection to the fees, current or past, has been served on the attorney and personal representative.

In all other instances, attorney fees must be approved by the court prior to payment. Costs may be paid without prior court approval. Attorney fees and costs paid without prior court approval remain subject to review by the court.

(F) Claims for compensation, Required Information. Except when the compensation is consented to by all the parties affected, the personal representative must append to an accounting, petition, or motion in which compensation is claimed a statement containing the information required by subrule (C).

(G) Contingent Fee Agreements under MCR 8.121. Subrules (C), (E), and (F) of this rule do not apply to a contingent fee agreement between a personal representative and an attorney under MCR 8.121.