Written by attorney Adam Christopher Aparicio

Negotiate Fees with Your Probate Attorney

California Probate Code Section 10810 sets the maximum statutory fees that attorneys can claim for their services in the Probate Process.

4% up to $100,000

3% for the next $100,000

2% for the next $800,000

1% for the next $9,000,000

0.5% for the next $15,000,000

If both the executor and the attorney are to receive fees, the executor will be entitled to the same amount paid to the attorney.

Most people overlook the fact that these fees are MAXIMUM fees, not REQUIRED fees. The decedent’s loved ones should NEGOTIATE and find an attorney to either bill by the hour, or take only a portion of the maximum statutory fee. Moreover, when drafting one’s estate plan, the testator should contemplate whether or not to compensate the proposed executor. Many loved ones and trusted friends would be more than willing to serve as executor without pay.

Remember, every penny you save in the Probate Process, means more passed on to your loved ones.

Lastly, a properly drafted inter-vivos revocable trust is the best way to avoid probate fees. If assets are properly placed in the trust, there will be nothing to probate, and thus no probate fees whatsoever.

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