Costs. The fee to file a probate depends on the size of the estate, but
the vast majority will be under $1,000. Other costs may include service
of documents, publication fees, and bond premiums. In addition, in complex
or contested matters, there may be other litigation expenses.
Attorney's Fees. Attorneys fees are set by statute and depend on the
size of the estate. Currently, attorney's fees are 4% on the first
$100,000; 3% on the next $100,000; 2% on the next $800,000; 1% on the
next $9,000,000; « of 1% on the next $15,000,000; and per court
discretion above $25,000,000. A court hearing and order are required prior
to the payment of any attorney's fees and such fees are generally
not paid until final distribution of the estate.
Extraordinary Fees. In some cases, the court may award "extraordinary
fees" if the attorney has performed extra work related to the probate,
e.g., legal services in connection with the sale of property, litigation
undertaken to benefit the estate or in defense of the estate, extraordinary
efforts to locate heirs or assets, or accounting services. Again, a court
hearing and order are required prior to the payment of any extraordinary
fees. Also, under certain circumstances, an attorney may perform extraordinary
services on a contingent-fee (i.e., a percentage of the recovery) basis.