Attorney fees for probate

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Attorney fees for probate

My father in Las Vegas recently died, leaving only his home worth some $150,000 and $5,000 in CDs left to probate. He left roughly $20,000 in debt owed for a credit card and nursing home fees. The attorney has given me the choice of paying $400/hr for legal fees or going with the statutory rate for handling the probate. Not sure which option to choose.

Asked on July 1, 2009 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am sorry for your loss.  I am not admitted in either Nevada or California but I am confused where your Father's Estate will be Probated.  Was he a resident of Nevada and you in California? 

In California the statutory fee for your Dad's Estate of roughly $155,000 would be 4% of the first $100,000 and 3% of the next $100,000. Debt is not included.  So it would be $4,000 plus $1,650 equals $5,650 as a fee. 

In Nevada,on the other hand, an attorney will receive a "reasonable" fee for all services performed based upon the experience of the attorney, the regular hourly rate the attorney charges, the time spent and the difficulty of the estate.  The Court determines the fee.  

As I am not familiar with Nevada law and how your Father's assets were held, I can not state how difficult the Estate will be to probate.  It appears that the attorney you spoke with is in California.  Maybe you should speak with a Nevada attorney before deciding.  Make sure that you ask about the difficulty and time it will take.  I have heard that probate in both Nevada and California can take between 6 and 18 months but again that is based upon the difficulty of the estate and Court time in processing.  Good luck.


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