For those with planning needs requiring more than one meeting the fee is $2,200 for an individual and $3,500 for a couple.
For simple plans that can be completed in one meeting the fee is $1,500 for an individual and $2,800 for a couple. This works well for families who know most of the answers to the questions on the intake form and want to complete their plans as quickly as possible.
For those needing additional documents or services such as post-marital agreements, step-parent or adult adoptions, separate property trusts, or tenancy-in-common agreements, the fee is $3,500 for an individual and $5,000 for a couple.
For those using insurance, the fees are generally structured as a “covered-in-full” plan or a “will only” plan. For all insurance plans, the property recording, and notary fees are not covered by insurance. The property recording fee is $150 dollars and notary fees are $15 per signature. In most cases, those fees total $225 for an individual and $300 for a couple.
The fee for an amendment or restatement completed in one meeting is $500 for our prior clients, if the amendment or restatement that takes longer than one meeting, the additional time is billed at $400 hour. For clients who previously used other attorneys, the fee is $1,250 for an individual and $1,500 for a couple. This fee difference reflects the additional time it takes for us to become familiar with a new client’s goals and their preexisting documents.
The fees an attorney is paid to handle a probate administration are set by statute. There are also costs to a probate which include filing fees, probate referee fees, and publication fees, that total about twenty-five hundred dollars ($2,500) per case. These are paid directly to the court.
California law says that the way to calculate the compensation the attorney receives for their time on a probate administration is based on the following fee schedule:
(1) Four percent on the first one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
(2) Three percent on the next one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
(3) Two percent on the next eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000).
(4) One percent on the next nine million dollars ($9,000,000).
(5) One-half of 1 percent on the next fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000).
In simplified terms this means, for a million-dollar estate, the probate fees and costs will be approximately $25,500. For a five hundred-thousand-dollar estate, the fees and costs will be approximately $15,500. These fees are paid by the estate and the personal representative does not need to have funds to start a case.
We are currently running a promotion where we will reduce our fees by five hundred dollars ($500) for any probate administration where the decedent died owning real property that is included in the probate estate.