How Much Does A Florida Probate Lawyer Cost?
If someone close to you recently passed away, you may already be aware that there will be tasks involved with wrapping up his or her final affairs. Regardless of whether the decedent had a will, Florida probate laws impose numerous legal requirements for the personal representative. If you are in a position to administer the estate, it is wise to retain an experienced Dade City family lawyer for assistance. Of course, one of your first considerations will be how much it will cost to retain legal representation.
Florida is one of a few US states that covers compensation of attorneys for the personal representative via statute, though the law does not go so far as to provide an exact dollar figure. Some basic information will help you understand what to expect as far as paying a lawyer for estate administration.
Application of Law on Probate Attorneys’ Fees
Florida’s statute on fees allows a lawyer to receive reasonable compensation for tasks performed for estate administration, and these amounts are payable from estate assets. Beyond this basic statement of the law, there are a few points to note:
- The law only applies to fees incurred for estate administration, i.e., amounts expended in connection with advising the personal representative on probate matters.
- If you are an heir, beneficiary, or other party interested in the probate proceedings, you are responsible for paying your own lawyer.
- Florida’s statute uses the term “reasonable” in connection with attorneys’ fees, an amount that is based upon the compensable value of the estate.
- The schedule for probate lawyer fees ranges from $1,500 for an estate valued at $40,000 or less to 1 percent when the estate is worth more than $10 million.
Tasks of a Florida Probate Lawyer
Parties with an interest in the estate typically want to know what the attorney for the personal representative will do to earn these fees, especially since the amount may affect their share. Some of the tasks an estate administration attorney handles include:
- Assisting with documentation necessary to open the estate, appoint the personal representative, and file the will (if any);
- Addressing publication and notification requirements;
- Help with gathering the decedent’s assets and preparing an estate inventory;
- Paying debts and other verified obligations of the estate;
- Attending court hearings as required for status conferences, motions, and other appearances;
- Advising the personal representative on distributions to beneficiaries of the will and/or heirs;
- Guidance on managing estate assets during probate;
- Advice on tax matters; and
- Helping with preparation of the accounting and documentation to wrap up the estate.
Consult with a Florida Probate and Estate Administration Attorney Today
This overview should be useful for understanding attorneys’ fees for estate administration, and it is helpful to know what your lawyer will be doing to support your efforts as personal administrator. To learn more about our areas of representation in probate cases, please contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane. Individuals in Pasco County can call 352-567-0055 or go online to set up a consultation.