Save your family the expense and hassle of going through the court process.
In California, attorney fees are mandated by the Probate Code and are comprised of a percentage of your gross estate, not including any potential extraordinary fees for handling other matters.
For example, the Probate Code establishes a sliding scale:
- 4% of the first $100,000
- 3% of the next $100,000
- 2% of the next $800,000
- 1% on the next $9,000,000
- 0.5% on the next $15,000,000
- A reasonable fee thereafter
If the only asset in an estate is a $500,000 house, and there is a $400,000 mortgage on it, the statutory fee of $13,000 is based on the full $500,000 value:
- 4% of the first $100k = $4,000
- + 3% of the next $100k = $3,000
- + 2% of the remaining $300,000 = $6,000
Additionally, probate is public process. Theoretically, that means anyone can go into the probate court when a person dies and look at the estate file. They can read the will and find out what assets are available to beneficiaries and creditors so they know who to target.