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In Re Estate of Yoon

FEBRUARY 9, 1959.

IN MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF JAY YOON, DECEASED. JAY HOM KING JEE, ADMINISTRATOR DE BONIS NON, APPELLANT,

v.

JAY Y. SUN, APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Superior Court of Cook county; the Hon. DONALD S. McKINLAY, Judge, presiding. Judgment affirmed.

PRESIDING JUSTICE MCCORMICK DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT.

An appeal was taken to the Superior Court of Cook County from an order entered in the Probate Court in the estate of Jay Yoon, deceased, approving the final account of Jay Y. Sun as administrator. The appeal here is taken from that portion of the judgment of the Superior Court approving the allowance of $2,500 in attorneys' fees to Wachowski and Gordon.

In the Probate Court of Cook County, while the estate of Jay Yoon was pending, a petition for a citation against Jay Y. Sun, the then administrator of the estate, was filed by Jay Hom King Jee. The petition sought a citation to remove Jay Y. Sun as administrator of the estate on the ground that he had obtained his appointment by false pretenses and in a fraudulent manner, and to compel him to account for assets of the estate which he had failed to inventory. Jay Y. Sun filed an answer denying the material allegations of the petition. At the conclusion of the hearing before the Probate Court on July 27, 1956 an order was entered sustaining the charges and allegations in the petition and finding that the letters of administration issued to Jay Y. Sun were "secured as the result of the false pretenses, fraud and misrepresentations practiced by said Jay Y. Sun upon the said Jay Hom King Jee," and finding further that Jay Y. Sun had hypothecated United States government bonds of the value of $100,000, which bonds had been purchased by the decedent with his own funds and that he, Sun, had unlawfully, fraudulently, wilfully and intentionally converted those bonds to his own use and that he should now account therefor to the estate. The court removed Sun as administrator, appointed Jay Hom King Jee as successor administrator and directed Sun to turn over the government bonds or the proceeds of the same to the new administrator within 60 days and directed Sun to file his account within 30 days. No appeal was taken from that order.

Sun filed an amended final account which showed assets of the estate to be substantially the same amount as was shown in his original inventory. The amended final account made no reference to the bonds or proceeds obtained from their sale. In the final account Sun set up various disbursements alleged to have been made by him, including court costs, payment for the funeral of the deceased, and attorneys' fees to Wachowski and Gordon of $3,500. Objections were filed to the final account and particularly to the attorneys' fees therein listed on the grounds that the attorneys had represented Sun, individually, against the interests of the estate, and that the fees were exorbitant; and it was asserted that if the fees could be properly found to be due and owing to Sun from the estate then the same should be credited as a setoff against the liability of Sun to the estate on the $100,000 worth of government bonds.

A hearing was held upon the amended final account and the objections filed thereto, and on September 19, 1956 the Probate Court entered an order in which, among other things, it allowed attorneys' fees to Wachowski and Gordon in the sum of $2,500 and ordered that the surety on Sun's bond be discharged. Jay Hom King Jee, as administrator, took an appeal from that order to the Superior Court, and, after hearing, that court on November 22, 1957, entered an order in part as follows:

"This matter coming on to be heard upon an appeal from the Probate Court of Cook County with reference to the amended final account of Jay Y. Sun, administrator, filed pursuant to order of the Probate Court entered July 27, 1956, and the objections to said amended final account of Jay Y. Sun, former administrator, filed by Jay Hom King Jee, administrator de bonis non, and upon testimony heard in open court and argument of counsel, and the court being fully advised in the premises,

"The court FINDS:

"1. That at the hearing of this cause the parties hereto by and through their respective attorneys have agreed that:

"(a) Item No. 14 of said amended final account be disallowed in the sum of $330.81 and allowed in the sum of $657.84.

"(b) Item No. 18 of said account be disallowed in the sum of $18.10 and allowed in the sum of $15.00.

"2. That the sole question to be determined by this court is the allowance of attorneys' fees to Wachowski & Gordon, which appears as item No. 19 in said amended final account of Jay Y. Sun.

"With reference to said item of attorneys' fees, this court has heard evidence and arguments of the parties, and finds that said attorneys, Wachowski & Gordon, have performed services which were beneficial to the estate of Jay Yoon, and that the reasonable value of such services is the sum of Twenty Five Hundred ($2,500.00) Dollars.

"It is Therefore Ordered That:

"(c) Item No. 19 of said account is disallowed in the sum of $1,000.00 and allowed in ...


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