Is there a set fee structure for probate attorneys?

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Is there a set fee structure for probate attorneys?

We have a small estate (approximately $100,000 – $150,000) which must go through probate. The attorney that we have consulted with has said that his fee is %5 of the first $100,000 and 4% of the next $50,000. Are there regulations dictating this fee structure or is it up to each individual attorney to set the fee? Can they charge whatever they wish?

Asked on October 5, 2011 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Many states regulate attorneys fees in various areas of the law.  The most common types of cases that have statutes regulating fees are personal injury cases.  Some states, such as California, also regulate fees for probate proceedings.  New york, however, does not have a statute that regulates the amount that an attorney can charge as a fee per se, although there are standards in the industry that may attorneys adhere to and exorbitant fees can always be challenged.  So really it becomes a point of negotiation between you and the attorney and gives you the opportunity to shop around, so to speak.  God luck.


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