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How much is the lawyers fee to settle an estate?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 10, 2014
A fellow caregiver asked...

If an estate is valued at $141,000, how much is the lawyers fee to settle the estate?


Caring.com User - Barbara Kate Repa
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Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in...
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A fellow caregiver answered...

Lawyers generally charge for probate work, including settling an estate, in one of three ways: an hourly fee, a lump sum for the whole job, or in some states, by See also:
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a percentage of the estate's value.

Hourly rates commonly run from $150 to $250--but they differ by locale. They're generally higher in urban areas, lower in smaller towns.

Flat fees for a typical probate are usually a few thousand dollars, but there may be more charges if complexities such as tax problems surface.

In a number of states--including Arkansas, California, Florida, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, and Wyoming--lawyers have the option of charging a percentage of what the estate's value. Most other states allow lawyers to charge a "reasonable" legal fee.

Whatever the final charge, it should not come as a surprise to you. The best advice is to discuss legal fees openly before hiring any lawyer. Many states require lawyers to put their fees in writing--and it's a good idea to request such a writing, along with an itemized final bill, no mater where you live.