VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — After more than a year fight to keep them out of the guardianship system, a tearful Maria Enzor was overwhelmed to hear the estate of her parents, Joe and Patricia Smith, won’t have to pay more than $22,000 in fees to a court-appointed attorney who filed for payment after they died earlier this year.
“I feel people watching and paying attention made a big difference, but I’m ecstatic,” Enzor said.
As advocates hoped, Judge Margaret Hudson expressed her opinion that it was time for the case to end.
She also noted Florida law that denies payment when no legal guardianship was established, which was exactly the case for the 87- and 88-year-olds.
That’s despite a court record of multiple attempts by opposing counsel to prove them incapacitated.
All parties agreed that a $400 portion was justified for court-appointed attorney Sherrille Akin, but not from the Smiths’ estate.
The judge will seek state funds to cover it.
Today the court-appointed attorney in this case said she never anticipated getting those feeds paid.
Akin told Channel 9 she wanted her petition put on the record in case of future reviews to compensate court-appointed attorneys in these complicated cases.
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