Splitting Legal Fees In California Probates

How much does a probate in California cost when more than one attorney is involved with the same client?

The fee is calculated based on a percentage as follows:

4% of the first $100,000 of probate property pays a fee of $4,000
3% of the next $100,000 of probate property pays a fee of $3,000
2% of the next $800,000 of probate property pays a fee of $16,000
1% of the next $9,000,000 of probate property pays a fee of $90,000
0.5% of the next $15,000,000 pays a fee of $75,000

If the estate exceeds $25,000,000 in value, the court will determine the amount of the fee for the excess.

Using this fee structure, an estate worth $1 million pays a fee of $23,000 ($4,000 plus $3,000 plus $16,000).

When more than one attorney is involved for the same estate, the fee is split between the lawyers. For example, if three attorneys handled the same $1 million estate, the maximum statutory fee is $23,000 which is divided among the lawyers in any way that they agree.

When an executor fires the first attorney during the probate proceeding, the next attorney has to negotiate his share of the statutory fee with the first lawyer. The stage of the probate proceeding at which this occurs will impact the discussion between the attorneys. If the new attorney is hired by the executor late in the proceeding, his or her fees negotiated with the prior attorneys probably will be relatively small; it may be difficult to hire a new attorney at this stage since the fee may be too small.

Speak with a competent California probate lawyer about this. Call Mitchell A. Port at (310) 559-5259.