What’s the one thing Prince didn’t have? A will.
When the singer-songwriter passed away, he left behind a $300 million estate and no will. Unfortunately, not having a will is common, as almost 60% of Americans don’t have one.
When someone passes away without a will, the process of handling their estate becomes more complicated. Even when there is a will present, without the help of a probate attorney, handling estates can be tricky. If you’re thinking about hiring a lawyer, but aren’t sure what it’ll cost, this article is for you.
How much does it cost to hire a probate lawyer? Read on to find out!
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Probate Lawyer?
It depends on the fee arrangement made between you and your probate lawyer. Here are the three fee arrangments you’re likely to encounter:
- Flat rate
- Hourly billing
- Percentage of estate value
Hiring a probate lawyer in Orange County is quite simple and convenient too.
Does your lawyer specialize in probate? If they do, you can expect to pay much more than you would for a general practitioner.
Flat Rate Probate Lawyer vs. Hourly
How much does it cost to hire a probate lawyer using the flat rate fee arrangement? If you don’t have a particularly large estate, you could wind up paying a flat fee that’s as much as $2,500 or more. However, the flat fee amount will vary depending on the size of the estate and the complexity of your needs.
If you choose a flat rate probate lawyer, you won’t have to concern yourself with the possibility of running up the bill. Instead, you can ask your lawyer as many questions as you need to feel comfortable.
Next, hourly billing amounts will vary greatly depending on the amount of training and experience your lawyer has. Whether or not the lawyer works for a big law firm versus a small law firm will also affect your price.
For instance, if you hire a small-town lawyer, you could get an hourly rate as low as $100 an hour. However, if you’re hiring a city lawyer from a big law firm, you can expect to pay $200 an hour or more.
Estate Percentage Probate Lawyer Fees
Moving on, you can also pay your lawyer using a percentage fee system. When a probate lawyer uses this system, they’ll charge you a percentage of the total value of the estate.
If the lawyer is performing what they consider ordinary services, the percentage can be as low as 4% for up to $100,000 of estate value. However, if the lawyer has to do anything outside of what’s considered standard, the percentage can go way up.
For instance, let’s say you have an estate worth $100,000; your lawyer could set the percentage fee as high as 10%. To pay off the 10% fee, you’d owe the lawyer $10,000 when they’re done handling your case.
Get the Help You Need
Now you know the answer to the question, “how much does it cost to hire a probate lawyer?” The fee arrangement you choose, as well as your lawyer’s experience, will both play a role in determining what you wind up paying.
If you’re wondering how long probate takes, the answer can come down to the county in which your probate matter is being handled and how busy the judges caseload is at the time of your probate administration filing.