Probate Costs and Expenses

California Probate Code Section 10810 establishes a statutory attorney’s fee based on a sliding scale. Additionally, it is based on the fair market value of the assets in the estate and doesn’t take liabilities into account.
The 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

Example
If the only asset in an estate is a $1,000,000 house, and there is a $800,000 mortgage on it, the statutory fee of $23,000 is based on the full $1,000,000 value:
4% of the first $100k = $ 4,000
+ 3% of the next $100k = $ 3,000
+ 2% of the remaining $800,000 = $16,000

Total: $23,000