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Last year I was in the process of divorcing my husband, when he passed away. I have requested an accounting from his attorney. The attorney, citing it was privileged information, declined my request. I am in Virginia and my husband passed away in South Carolina where he was living with his mother. In both states, the surviving spouse is considered next of kin.
How can I go about getting this accounting from his attorney, so that I can determine what happened to any remainder in the retainer account?
This seems like an unusual situation because attorneys frequently compile and produce affidavits of fees for court purposes. It’s possible that there is confusion as to what you are asking for. The nature and content of any communications your husband had with his attorney is privileged, but the attorney should be able to compile an affidavit for the purpose you are describing. You may want to consider contacting the Commission on Lawyer Conduct through the South Carolina Supreme Court to find out what the attorney must provide to you and what he cannot. If that is not successful, you may need to file a petition with a South Carolina court to order the attorney to disclose your husband’s ledger. A family law attorney in South Carolina may be able to assist you with this, or you can contact the court to find out how to file the petition on your own.