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
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.
a percentage of the estate's value.