What should I reasonably anticipate paying to retain a probate lawyer in the Queens, NY area to settle my late sister's estate?

Asked over 3 years ago - Queens Village, NY

My sister died recently in a Nassau County, NY, hospital though she was a resident of Queens County, NY for many years and was such at the time of her death. On the recommendation of a friend, I consulted with an experienced/established lawyer in Queens to assist with the updating of my sister's Will prior to her passing and he did a very impressive, professional, caring job in that regard. I would like to continue working with this lawyer for probate/estate settlement needs but I have no experience as to what his services may reasonably cost. If his fees are calculated as a percentage of my sister's estate or by some other method, what is the reasonable and/or "going rate" for a probate/estate lawyer's services in the Queens, NY area?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Jonathan Craig Reed

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    1

    Best Answer
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    Answered . Traditionally attorneys in a state had a "standard" probate fee of a percentage of the estate or an hourly rate, whichever was larger. And traditionally, a client calling an attorney's office to get a price would be told, "You'll have to talk to Mr. Jones about that, and, yes, there is a fee to talk to him."

    Thankfully for legal consumers those days are gone. I advertise the prices I charge for Nevada probates on my website and attorneys in all other states are also free to advertise their probate rates. I advertise that I believe my firm is the low cost, affordable, discount, high quality provider of uncontested probates in Las Vegas and Nevada. In addition, any potential client can talk to me without charge on the phone to discuss my charges for uncontested probates in Nevada.

    With today's more competitive legal market you will find that more and more attorneys will take the time to discuss, without charging for an appointment, their charges for a probate.

    I suggest that you Google for low cost, affordable, discount probate attorneys in your area. In addition, call several attorneys in your area even if you don't find them on Google advertising price and ask what they would charge for your probate. While some law firms may insist you come in for an appointment I am sure you will find others that will discuss price with you over the phone. Of course, all prices given assume there will be no contest of the will or other unusual problems. Some will tell you an hourly rate which is very unhelpful. However, others may agree to a binding flat fee or a binding fee based on total assets assuming no will contests or other unusual problems.

    And, finally, once you get an idea of what you need to spend on the probate call the attorney who did the "impressive, professional caring job" on the will and ask him what he would charge for the probate. If he is competitive or not a lot more than you need to spend it may be worth it to hire someone who has already earned your confidence and trust.

  2. Daniel R. Antonelli

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . Have trust and confidence in your attorney and his/her ability and integrity is infinitely more important than the amount of the fee.

  3. Steven J. Fromm

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . As suggested by the prior attorney you may want to shop around to get a sense of fees in your area and by the way Queens County would be the location to probate the will. But if you have an attorney who is impressive, professional and caring you have the most important aspects of making a decision right there for you. Remember, fees are based also on experience, expertise and knowledge and reputation and going for a discounted fee sometimes can backfire. So if you have a good one you may want to stick with himor her because a good attorney oftentimes is more efficient and will save the estate monies by taking advantage of tax elections and tax planning and tax discounts for early and timely filing, etc.

    Hope this helps. If you think this post was helpful, please check the thumbs up (helpful) tab below and/or designate my answer as best answer. Thanks.
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