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Should I fire my litigating attorney and find another one?

This legal question related to probate law attorneys in Fort MyersFlorida has been answered.

Location: Fort Myers  |  Law type: probate law attorneys

I am the personal representative for my father’s Estate. He died June 2020 in Bonita Springs Fl. My out of state siblings are contesting the closing of his Estate. Almost 3 years later, I am still waiting to close his Estate and nothing has happened. It keeps dragging on. Is this normal? My attorney does nothing to move it forward. I have been waiting for the court to issue a hearing date, but it has been months. Should I fire my litigating attorney and hire a new one? The Estate is dwindling away from attorney fees and I have seen no results. Please advise.

Should You Fire Your Litigating Attorney and Find Another One?

Losing a loved one is hard enough without the added stress of a probate dispute with your siblings. If you are facing such a situation and your attorney isn't moving things forward, you may be wondering if it's time to fire them and find a new one. Here are some factors to consider:

Understanding the Context

Probate is a legal process that deals with the distribution of a person's assets after their death. In Florida, the probate court oversees this process, and a personal representative is appointed to manage the deceased person's estate.

Probate disputes can arise when family members disagree about how the assets should be distributed. This can lead to a lengthy legal process that can be emotionally and financially draining.

Possible Solutions

If you feel like your current attorney isn't moving things forward, it may be time to consider finding a new one. Before you do, however, you should try to address the issue with your current attorney. Ask for an explanation of why the process is taking so long and what steps they are taking to move it forward.

If you are not satisfied with their response, you may want to consider finding a new attorney. Look for an attorney who has experience with probate disputes and who is responsive to your questions and concerns.

Another option is to consider mediation. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps the parties involved in a dispute reach a resolution. It can be less costly and less time-consuming than going to court.

Related Authorities

If you are looking for a new attorney in the Fort Myers area, you can compare lawyers in your area on This website provides information on attorneys in your area, including their experience, fees, and reviews from other clients.

You can also find the best lawyers in Fort Myers on This website allows you to search for attorneys by practice area and location, and provides information on their experience, fees, and reviews from other clients.

Legal Service Rates in Fort Myers

Here are some examples of legal service rates in Fort Myers for various types of legal services:

  • Simple will: $150-$500
  • Living trust: $1,200-$2,500
  • Probate administration: $2,000-$7,000
  • Probate litigation: $10,000-$30,000

These rates are just examples and may vary depending on the complexity of your case and the attorney you choose.

Legal Disclaimer

It's important to note that the information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship, and you should consult with an attorney if you have specific legal questions related to your case.

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to probate law attorneys in the jurisdiction of Fort Myers. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Evaluating the Efficacy of Your Probate Attorney in Fort Myers

When it comes to managing a loved one's estate, especially as a personal representative, the importance of having an efficient and proactive probate lawyer cannot be overstated. In situations where the estate closure drags on unnecessarily, it may be beneficial to reconsider your representation.

Relevant Probate Law Provisions in Fort Myers, Florida

For your reference, the Florida Statutes govern the probate process in Fort Myers. Specifically:

  • Chapter 731: General Provisions
  • Chapter 732: Intestate Succession and Wills
  • Chapter 733: Administration of Estates
  • Chapter 734: Foreign Personal Representatives; Ancillary Administration
  • Chapter 735: Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration

For a comprehensive view and specifics of these laws, you may refer to the Official Florida Statutes website.

Possible Solutions to Your Predicament

  1. Re-evaluate the Attorney's Performance: A proactive step would be to have an open dialogue with your attorney. Ask them to provide a timeline and detailed steps on what needs to happen next and when.

  2. Seek a Second Opinion: Sometimes, it's beneficial to compare lawyers in your area for a second opinion on your case's progression.

  3. Switching Representation: If, after the above steps, you still feel the need to change, you may want to find the right lawyer that better suits your needs.

Cost Implications in Fort Myers for Probate Attorneys

Service Average Cost
Initial Consultation $250 - $500
Flat Fee for Uncontested Probate $2,500 - $5,000
Hourly Rate for Contested Cases $200 - $500/hr
Ancillary Services (e.g., property transfer) $300 - $700

Note: Costs can vary depending on the attorney's experience, the complexity of the estate, and any additional services required. Ensure that you discuss and are aware of all potential fees upfront to prevent unexpected bills later.

Seeking Further Clarification

While the advice provided offers some direction, each case is unique. Before making any decisions, it would be wise to fully understand your current attorney's strategy and seek the opinions of other professionals.

If you need more specific guidance or to ask a question to a legal professional for free, consider using platforms such as ask a free legal question.

Questions for Further Consideration:

  • Have there been any recent changes in the Probate Laws of Florida that might affect the estate?
  • Is there an alternative method of resolution, like mediation, that you can consider?
  • Do you have a full breakdown of the attorney fees you've paid so far, and for what services?

Q1: How long does a typical probate process take in Fort Myers, Florida?

The typical probate process can vary. Uncontested probates can take a few months to a year, while contested ones can take several years, especially if they involve complex estate or family issues.

Q2: Can an out-of-state personal representative administer a Florida estate?

Yes, but they must be either a blood relative or a spouse of the deceased. Out-of-state corporate entities cannot serve as personal representatives in Florida.

Q3: What are the responsibilities of a personal representative in Florida?

The personal representative has various duties, including notifying creditors, paying valid claims, distributing assets, and closing the estate once all tasks are completed.

Q4: Can beneficiaries of an estate request an accounting or progress report?

Yes, beneficiaries can request an accounting or status of the estate proceedings, and the personal representative is obliged to provide it.

Q5: Are there any ways to avoid the probate process in Florida?

Yes, some methods include having a living trust, joint ownership of assets, or designating beneficiaries on financial accounts, which will automatically transfer upon death without the need for probate.

I hope this provides some clarity. Remember, managing an estate can be complex, and the right guidance can make all the difference.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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