Yes, it's certainly possible to fire your lawyer, but the question you need to ask yourself is whether or not it makes sense financially, as it may end up costing the estate more money to get a new lawyer right now. When you hire a probate lawyer, you're the boss and you can fire him at any time. In practice, firing a lawyer can be complicated by the court itself and by the willingness of other lawyers to participate. There are many reasons why you may want to fire or change your lawyer.
Firing or changing lawyers could delay your case and increase your legal fees. So it's important to think about why the relationship isn't working and if there are ways to resolve your concerns without firing your lawyer. If you decide to fire your lawyer, you must do so in writing. Your letter must state and document any conduct or reason that supports your decision.
You must also give instructions on where you should send your file. Keep in mind that some states do not require the lawyer to deliver their work product or mental impressions or theories of the case. Do not threaten your lawyer with legal action or report to the bar association. This will only strengthen your determination to intervene in your case and recover your full fees.
Do not send a copy of your dismissal letter to the local bar association, unless your conduct was illegal or clearly unethical. Managing a property is like running a business. If the representative makes mistakes, heirs, legatees and creditors are likely to sue the representative for their losses. Professional advice greatly reduces the chance of a mistake being made and avoiding the mistake in the first place is much less expensive than fixing it later.
If the previous lawyer has not yet worked on the case, then it's quite easy. You can request that they stop working and hire someone new. However, it becomes more complicated if the lawyer has spent any time on the case, which may include opening the case and corresponding with the court. If that's the case, you'll want to decide wisely, even if you can't bear to work with a particular lawyer, if you're close to the finish line, it may be in the best interest of the case to take it all the way.
You'll have to weigh it. For example, it had not notified any heirs, it had not collected any of the preliminary financial documents, it had not even collected the basic information, which is typically what experienced probate lawyers do right away. Probate rules can be difficult to find and understand and even small property affidavits are often subject to the same or similar rules as normal probate cases. An attorney can help secure a security bond for the probate hearing, which is usually required to protect heirs from mistakes that may be made in the distribution of property.
Conversely, according to Mattson's decision, an attorney is required for all formal probate proceedings in Illinois and any petition to appoint a pro se representative is likely to be dismissed by the probate court. Therefore, the court ruled that an attorney is required for all probate proceedings in Illinois and the probate court was right when it dismissed Daniel's pro se petition.