What are the attorney fees for going through probate in California?

The larger the estate, the larger an attorney’s compensation will be.

Posted on October 14, 2021 by Alex Gauthier
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If you’re an estate executor overseeing a large, complex estate, you’ll most likely have to go through probate to get the will validated and be able to carry out your responsibilities as executor. Probate isn’t cheap, however.

Applying for probate in and of itself will cost an executor an initial filing fee of $435. Executors will also have to cover a final distribution filing fee of $435 as well. And if an executor chooses to enlist the help of an attorney, they’ll have to face those fees as well.

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Probate fees in California

In California, an attorney’s fees are determined by the California Probate Code § 10810. Coincidentally, this fee structure is the same as the executor fee structure. An attorney’s statutory fees are broken down like this:

  • 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate
  • 3% of the next $100,000
  • 2% of the next $800,000
  • 1% of the next $9 million
  • 5% of the next $15 million

The larger the estate, the larger an attorney’s compensation will be. In addition to these statutory fees, an attorney may also charge extraordinary fees for estates that require more work, such as dealing with tax audits or irregular legal suits.

As you can probably imagine, attorney fees usually make up the largest expense when going through probate. Luckily, a lawyer is not a necessity to navigate the probate process. With the help of an experienced and dedicated partner like ClearEstate, you can be sure to confidently handle the challenges of settling an estate while saving a big chunk of change. Get in touch for a consultation today.