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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102143
Experience:  Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.
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I have a HUGE problem. I am being sued by my sister regarding

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I have a HUGE problem. I am being sued by my sister regarding the handling of my parents estate of which I was the Successor Trustee. This has been going on for 4 years now. I have limited financial means and I had a lawyer, but since I could not pay the $15,0000 up front escrow/fee, I had to drop her. Now I find myself with a huge settlement debt, contempt of court charges that will put me in jail and am generally being harassed by my sister. I never received a notice of the hearing that they had regarding the charges. I feel totally abandoned by the judicial system and don't know where to turn. I need to stop the process or at least slow it down so that I can catch up to what's happening to me. My biggest mistake was not getting a lawyer right after my Dad died. I've regreted that every day since then. I am in Clearwater, Florida.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am very sorry for your situation. I understand the conundrum and can provide some information. However, what exactly are you asking here, i.e. what do you hope to achieve? Are you looking for some pro bono / low cost attorneys for example, or how to move back the hearing date, etc?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1. I AM looking for a low cost or Pro Bono attorney.

2. I am looking for some way to appeal the decisions that were already made during the hearing they had that I was not notified of.


3. I just need to slow things down before I wind up in jail or with huge settlements ($100,000 plus).


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX When was the last hearing and was it a TRIAL or simply a hearing (if so, then for what, and the matter is still ongoing)?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It was hearing regarding financial matters and removing me as trustee from the estate. The removal hurt because we haven't seen my sister in 20 years (she lives in California) and I was the one that took care of my parents in their final years. My sisiter is doing everything via her attorney here in Florida who is using phone calls and emails to communicate with her. He has never seen her either.

Thank you.

Pro Bono / Low Cost Leads
I can recommend three resources. First, here is a list of all pro bono work in the state...

…and another list:

Finally, you may call your local law school and see if they have a legal clinic place available. The legal clinic is a free service the school(s) provide to the community. While they are often overbooked, they have openings sometimes. Here is the list law schools in your state:

It if has not yet been 30 days, then someone in your situation may wish to file a Motion for Reconsideration to have this decision possibly reversed. AC Holdings 2006, Inc. v. McCarty, 985 So. 2d 1123, 1125 (Fla. 3d D.C.A. 2008). If you are going to attempt to find an attorney, it is best to allow them to file it. If one wishes to attempt to do this themselves, then the motion may be found online, and/or on sites like for example.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Best of luck.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

One last thing. I received a notice of intent from my sisiter's attorney to file a subpoena requesting all of my financial records from my bank all the way back to 2006. I have 15 days to object to the filing of the subpoena. Of course, I DO object. Do I have to say anything else other than "I object to this notice" or do I have to say why and add some more information?

Hello friend,

Do I have to say anything else other than "I object to this notice" or do I have to say why and add some more information?

Yes. The way to object to a subpoena is to file a Motion to Quash.

You can 'quash' a subpoena by showing that it is (1) quash or modify the subpoena if it is unreasonable and oppressive, or (2) is requesting things that are not pertinent to the case. Florida Rules of Civil Procedure RULE 1.410.

Sample motion here (yours does not have to be that complicated).

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay, but no subpoena has been issued. This was a notification of intent to file for the subpoena unless someone objects to the filing. Does that still need the quash motion? Or can I just object to the intent to file?


Ah, I see.

A notice of intent to issue a subpoena for documents directed to a nonparty must be sent to you prior to the issuance of the subpoena. Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.351 allows you to object within 10 days of service of the notice.

Then, a notice of objection may be filed with the Court and a copy served unto the other party.


Here comes now ____, named Defendant herein, and filed this NOTICE OF OBJECTION under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.351 in response to Notice of Intent to file Subpoena, and states herein:

1) Defendant objects to the subpoena on the following grounds: (oppressive, unreasonable, etc)

2) Defendant requests a hearing on this matter.

Defendant prays the Court, after notice and hearing or trial, enters judgment in favor of Defendant, awards Defendant the costs of court, fees, and such other and further relief as Defendant may be entitled to in law or in equity.

Respectfully submitted,
Your Signature
Your name



I certify that on (date filed) a true and correct copy of Defendant's Original Answer was served to the opposing party.

Your Signature
Your name

So please disregard the motion to quash earlier. That was for if the subpoena was already filed. This works the same way, but simply before it is filed, replying to the notice.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE and submit your rating when we are finished.
Ely and other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What do I do first? Do I file with the court and then mail the dated copy from the court back to my sisiter's attorney? What, then, do I do with the Certificate Of Service? Do I take that back to the courthouse and submit that? Do I send that Certificate of Service to the other attorney?

One sends a copy to the court (both the objection and certificate of service), and a copy to the other party's attorney (both the objection and certificate of service).
Customer: replied 4 years ago. I need to take all copies to the courthouse so they can stamp them all before I mail them out? I want to do this right.

No, it is not necessary to have them stamped.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you so much, Ely. It's just down the street, so I am going to take them over to the Clerk of Court for stamping so that there's no chance of a foulup. I do appreciate the advice. I feel like I'm not all alone anymore. That's a huge thing for me......THANKS!

My pleasure, friend. Best of luck.