MATTER OF VERPLANCK


151 A.D.2d 767 (1989)

In the Matter of The Estate of Francina R. Verplanck, Also Known as Francina Verplanck, Deceased. Percy Ingerman, as Executor, Appellant

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Second Department.

June 26, 1989


Ordered that the decree, as amended, is affirmed insofar as appealed from, without costs or disbursements.

It is by now well settled that the Surrogate bears the ultimate responsibility to decide what constitutes reasonable legal compensation (see, Matter of Von Hofe, 145 A.D.2d 424; Matter of Ury, 108 A.D.2d 816; Matter of Schaich, 55 A.D.2d 914). This is so regardless of the existence of a retainer agreement (see, Matter of Lanyi, 147 A.D.2d 644), or whether all the interested parties have consented to the amount of fees requested (see, Matter of Von Hofe, supra; Matter of Zorek, 131 A.D.2d 580; Matter of Hertz, 128 A.D.2d 780).

Moreover, the Surrogate's exercise of this authority at bar was not improvident. The attorney did not submit a time record contemporaneous with his affidavit of services rendered, and admitted that the amount of hours allegedly spent in rendering legal services to the estate was merely an estimate (see, Matter of Lanyi, 147 A.D.2d 644, supra; Matter of Schaich, 55 A.D.2d 914, supra). Additionally, as the Surrogate noted, with the exception of the sale of certain real property, the services rendered to this estate were routine (see, Matter of Ury, 108 A.D.2d 816, supra). Many of the services rendered were executorial in nature and thus may not properly be considered in the setting of legal fees (see, Matter of Von Hofe, 145 A.D.2d 424, supra; Matter of Hertz, 128 A.D.2d 780, supra). Thus, the Surrogate's determination was a proper exercise of his discretion.


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