Tag Archives: FEES

My mother died in FLA without a will

Q: My sister who lives in FL (I’m in PA) got an attorney and become the executor. It seems the lawyer is not working with me and will not talk to me. I think I need to get my own lawyer and if I do, will my portion of the estate have to pay both? I never signed anything. Also, can the executor avoid going into probate as she is not dividing the estate equally. I also know she uses marijuana. Can I ask for a drug test and get her removed as she is not making good decisions? Any help would be great appreciated. Thank you. (Pittsburgh, PA)

A: If an estate has been opened in FLA and your mother died without a will, you are likely to be an heir under FLA law if there is anything to inherit. If the attorney for the estate is not responding to you, that is not good. I would send him or her a certified letter containing all your questions. If you get no response, you may want to see if the county has a probate court website for you to look for her estate or call the Probate Court and see what you can find out. If your inquiries are not satisfied, you should call a lawyer in that county who handles estates. There is a process involved in petitioning the court to remove an executor. An attorney in FLA can advise you if this is necessary.

Can this lawyer really do this to me?

Q: I’ve been trying to get this lawyer to take her name off of my case since November. They have been charging ever since, even the time spent in telling them they are fired. I now have a court hearing with the judge next Tuesday to do this. Today, I get this letter in the email saying effective January 1st  they are raising all their prices. This cannot be legal.

A:  The attorney has to file a Praecipe to Withdraw his or her appearance to officially be off the case. In some matters, like in Orphan’s Court or Criminal Court, the courts not only require a Praecipe to Withdraw from the old attorney, but require a Praecipe to Enter Appearance by the new attorney. Since I have no idea what type of case this is, I am not sure the judge needs to approve or sign off on the withdrawal. I am not sure what the hearing before the judge is about but perhaps at that time, the judge will let your attorney to withdraw her appearance. I would send a certified letter to the attorney stating that you no longer need their services as of the date you originally told them. If they sue you for services performed after you fired them, you can use your letter as a defense.