Who Pays Probate Attorneys Fees

Who Pays Probate Attorneys Fees


Probate attorney’s fees are typically paid by an executor, beneficiary, or trustee.

Types of Fee Arrangements

Attorneys typically utilize one of 3 approaches to bill for working probate: by each hour, a flat-fee, or a percentage of the worth of the assets in the estate. Your lawyer might let you decide how you pay—for instance, $274 each hour or a $1,600 flat-fee for managing an everyday probate case.

Hourly Billing

A lot of probate attorneys bill their clientele by the hour. The hourly rate is subject on how much knowledge and training the attorney has, your location, and if the attorney practices in a large law firm or a small firm. Smaller town rates could be as low as $150 each hour; in a city, a rate of under $200 each hour would be uncommon. Large firms usually charge higher rates than individual practitioners or smaller firms, unless the small firm is made up exclusively of hot-shots.

An attorney that does nothing but probate and estate planning is going to probably bill a higher hourly rate than a common attorney. The benefit to you is that specialists should be more proficient. An individual that has guided many probates throughout local courts proceedings more than likely has knowledge of all the local rules and how to compose and file documents to the courts liking.

When your attorney employs associates and paralegals, their time should be charged at a lower hour by hour rate. This is not uncommon in firms that perform probate work; paralegals sometimes draw up the customary paperwork.

A lot of attorneys charge at minimal increments of 6 minutes (or 1/10th of an hour). So, if your attorney (or a paralegal) expends 3 minutes on a phone call on the estate behalf, you’ll be charged for the whole 6 minutes.


It’s also not unusual for attorneys to bill their probate clientele a flat-fee. This way, they won’t have to retain minute-by-minute accounts of how they’ve spent their time. (attorneys are not fans of recording their “chargeable hours” any more than their clientele like dishing out money for each of those 6 minute increments.) And since they have an idea of how long the average probate is going to take, they could bill a fee that is going to be closer to what they would get if they charged by the hour.

When you are charged in this way, you don’t have to be concerned about running up the bill each time you want to ask a question of your attorney. Making it a more calm experience.

When you agree to pay a flat-fee for legal affairs, be sure you realize what it covers and does not cover. For instance, you might still have to pay individual court filing fees, costs for recording documents, or fees to an appraiser.

Percentage of the Estate’s Value

The wrong way to pay for a probate attorney—from the estate’s viewpoint—is to pay a percentage of the estate worth as the fee. This is routing only in a couple states. Also, in those states, attorneys aren’t required by law to receive a percentage fee. You are able to and need to attempt to bargain for a by the hour rate or flat-fee with your attorney. But many attorneys prefer a ”statutory-fee” since it’s typically very high in association to the level of work they have to perform.

How Much Does Probate Cost?

Probate costs differ greatly from one area to another, but they usually add up to be around the range of three percent to seven percent of the estate’s worth. They could reach much higher, though, and are inclined to do so as the worth of an estate rises. therefore, the more the estate is worth, the higher the probate fees are probably going to be.


  1. Mary Randolph, J. (2014, February 03). Probate lawyers’ fees and billing. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/probate-lawyers-fees-billing.html

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