What is the fee computation for an attorney in alameda county (California)?

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What is the fee computation for an attorney in alameda county (California)?

The only asset is a house appraised at $495,000. I’m being charged $12,900 attorney fees. 4% of first 100,000 3% next 100,000 2% of the rest 195,000. I thought it was 2% next 100,000 then 1% of the rest. Then my fee would be $10,950. Is this right?

Asked on June 5, 2009 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

California is one of the only states that has a statutory probate fee schedule for attorney's fees under probate code sections 10810 and 10811.  The fees you state are correct but your math was incorrect.  The 2% would be of $295,000 not $195,000.  You reduced the estate by too much when doing the calculations.  The fee would then be $4,000 plus $3,000 plus $5,900 equalling $12,900.00  If, however, an estate doesn't require formal probate because it can be settled in another way (such as community property transfer or a joint tenancy termination) then an attorney is not entitled to receive the statutory fee but rather an hourly fee.  The amount hourly depends on the attorney and the negotiations between the parties.


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