Probate can be a lengthy and time consuming process. It can also be a costly
one. Attorneys representing personal representatives are entitled to "reasonable
compensation" for their services. What is considered reasonable is
to a great extent the price you and your attorney agree on for administration.
However, a court could also examine fees charged in certain circumstances
and make their own determination as to whether the fee is reasonable.
Florida Statute §733.6171 provides some guidelines for what courts
will consider reasonable for probate attorneys. Fees are based on the
value of the estate including income earned during the probate process.
Below are the guidelines provided by statute to give you an idea of what
probate administration could cost depending on the estate size:
$40k or less: $1,500.00
$100k-$1M: $3,000.00 plus 3% on excess of $100k
Over $10M: 1.0%
These fees are just base amounts for ordinary services provided by a probate
attorney. There can be additional fees for any "extraordinary services."
Fla. Statute §733.6171 provides of complete list of what can be considered
extraordinary services including the sale or disposition of real property,
tax advice, and preparation of estate tax returns. A more complete list
can be found by examining the statute.
As you can begin to see, in certain circumstances, the probate process
can be extremely costly. Careful planning to avoid or minimize these fees
can provide an immediate return while giving you more control over their
assets. If you find yourself in a situation where probate is necessary,
consult with an attorney to minimize costs and eliminate potential surprise
fees. Don't overpay.
Contact our office for a full appraisal on the cost of your probate case.