When a person passes away, their assets must go through the probate process, which is a court-supervised system for distributing a deceased person’s estate. Before that happens, probate lawyers can help to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Probate lawyers are an expensive but invaluable part of the process, so it’s important to know just how much they cost.
The cost of hiring a probate lawyer varies widely, depending on the complexity of the estate and the amount of work required. Generally speaking, simple estates may cost about $1,000 to $2,000. More complicated estates can cost upwards of $5,000. Probate lawyers will also typically charge an hourly rate, which can range from $150 to $400. Some lawyers will also charge a retainer fee before they begin work, which can range from $500 to $5,000.
In some cases, the estate may be able to cover the cost of the probate lawyer, but this is not always possible. If it’s not, the heirs may have to pay the lawyer’s fees out of pocket. It’s important to note that these fees are in addition to any other costs associated with probate, such as court filing fees, executor and other professional fees, publication costs, and taxes.
In 1953, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a ruling in the case of Commissioner of Internal Revenue vs. Field. The case determined that probate lawyer fees are tax-deductible, meaning that they don’t count as part of the estate. This ruling allowed many people to use their deceased loved one’s assets to cover the cost of hiring a probate lawyer. This ruling is still in effect today, meaning that people can use assets from the estate to pay for probate lawyer fees.
Hiring a probate lawyer is an important part of the probate process, and it’s essential to know how much the lawyer will cost. Generally speaking, it can range from $1,000 to $5,000 or more depending on the complexity of the estate. In some cases, the estate can cover the cost of the lawyer, but heirs may also need to pay out of pocket. Thanks to a 1953 Supreme Court ruling, probate lawyer fees are tax-deductible, meaning that heirs can use the deceased’s assets to pay for the fees.