The fees for a probate attorney to handle your probate matter are set forth in the Californa Probate Code. Section 10810 escribes the maximum fees an attorney can charge. These are as follows:
4% of the first $100,000 3% of the next $100,000 2% of the next $800,000 1% of the next $9 million If the estate is worth more than $25 million, the Court will determine the fee.
Who is entitled to these fees? The statute allows compensation for both the attorney handling the probate and the executor or administrator (if you have read the previous blogs, you know the difference). So for example, if the estate is valued at $500,000, the statutory fees would be $13,000 for the attorney and $13,000 for the executor/administrator. With a $1 million estate, the fees would be $23,000 each, or $46,000 total. Fees can also be increased by the court if the probate is complicated by litigation or tax issues.
You may be asking how the fee is determined when there is an asset which is mortgaged. For example, you may have a home appraised at $400,000 but it has a $300,000 mortgage. The house is still considered an asset worth $400,000 for purposes of determining attorneys fees.
In addition to the statutory fees for attorneys and executors or administrators, there will aso be costs to file the probate, publication costs, and appraisal fees. For questions about probate or to assist you with the probate process, contact us at Law Office of Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation.