Download our free probate checklist. Download now

How much does a probate lawyer cost?

A probate attorneys fees are typically between $3,000 - $7,000 for most cases. Here's what you need to know about attorney fee structures.

How much does a probate attorney cost

Going through probate can be complex and time-consuming, which is why many turn to hiring a probate attorney. However, it is important to understand how much an attorney charges for their services and other costs that may be involved.

In this blog post, we will break down common probate attorneys' fees, the different payment structures attorneys charge, and also provide some tips on how to reduce these costs.

Hourly Fees

The hourly rate for a probate attorney varies depending on the lawyer's experience, the complexity of the estate, and the location. Generally, rates range from $150 to $400 per hour. For example, an experienced probate attorney in New York City might charge $400 per hour, while a less experienced lawyer in a smaller town might charge $150 per hour.


It is important to keep in mind that the hourly rate is just one factor in the total cost of probate proceedings. Other costs, such as filing fees and appraisals, can also add up quickly. As a result, it is important to get an estimate from the attorney before hiring them to handle the probate process.

Why should you consider hiring a probate attorney at an hourly rate?

Hourly rates allow clients to only pay for the time that they need. This can be particularly helpful for those who have a simple estate that does not require a lot of legal work.


In addition, hourly rates give clients more control over their budget. They can choose to work with an attorney for a few hours or they can choose to continue working with the attorney until the probate process is complete.

Finally, hourly rates provide a transparent billing arrangement - the client knows exactly how much they will be paying for the attorney's time.

Fixed Rates

A fixed-rate fee structure with a probate attorney means that the client will pay one lump sum for all of the work that the attorney will do on their behalf. This type of fee arrangement is beneficial for both the client and the attorney because it provides certainty and allows both parties to budget for the cost of legal services.


In addition, a fixed rate fee structure incentivizes the attorney to work efficiently and complete the probate proceeding in a timely manner. For these reasons, many clients prefer to hire a probate attorney who offers a fixed rate fee structure.

Why should you consider hiring an attorney at a fixed rate?

If you are considering hiring a probate attorney, you may want to consider a fixed-fee arrangement. With a fixed-fee arrangement, you will know upfront exactly how much you will need to pay for the attorney's services.

This can help budget for the probate process and avoid any unexpected costs. In addition, a fixed-fee arrangement provides an incentive for the attorney to work efficiently and complete the probate proceeding in a timely manner.

Contingency Fees

A contingency fee is a type of payment arrangement where a lawyer agrees to accept a set percentage of the total amount of money recovered in a case, rather than billing by the hour. If no money is recovered, the lawyer does not get paid.


Probate lawyers who work on contingency typically charge between 30% and 40% of the total estate value recovered. For example, if the amount of an estate recovered is $100,000, the lawyer would charge anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000. The exact percentage varies depending on the complexity of the case and the amount of work involved.

In some cases, the attorney may also receive a percentage of any money that is recovered from creditors or other parties. If you are considering hiring a probate attorney, be sure to ask about their fee structure.

Why should you consider hiring an attorney with a contingency fee?

With a contingency fee, the attorney will only charge you if they are successful in getting the estate settled. This can be a good option if you are not sure how long the probate process will take or if the estate is complex.


In addition, a contingency fee arrangement gives the attorney an incentive to work quickly and efficiently to get the best possible outcome for the estate. However, it is important to note that contingency fees are typically only offered in cases where the attorney believes there is a good chance of success.

Additional costs to consider

Another payment probate attorney's charge is a retainer fee. A retainer fee is a lump sum payment that is paid upfront, the retainer fee might be used to cover the cost of filing fees, appraisals, and other miscellaneous costs. Retainer fees are typically non-refundable, even if the attorney does not do any work on the case.

Probate attorneys may also charge additional fees for services such as will preparation, asset valuation, and estate administration. These fees are typically billed on an hourly basis, and they are often paid out of the estate's assets.

How to reduce probate attorney fees?

Anyone going through the probate process knows that it can be both time-consuming and expensive. Probate attorney fees can quickly add up, leaving beneficiaries with a hefty bill. However, there are a few ways to reduce the cost of probate attorney fees.

One option is to negotiate a reduced fee with the attorney. If you can do some of the work yourself, such as gathering documents or contacting creditors, notifying beneficiaries you may be able to reduce the amount of time the attorney needs to spend on your case, and therefore the fees.

Finally, you can shop around and compare fees from different attorneys before hiring one. By taking some time to research your options, you can ensure that you are getting the best possible value for your legal services.

Who pays the probate attorney fees?

In most cases, the estate will pay the attorney's fees. The executor of the estate is responsible for managing the estate's assets and paying any debts and expenses, including the attorney's fees. The executor may use estate funds to pay for an attorney to help with estate administration.


In some cases, the beneficiaries of the estate may agree to pay the attorney's fees. For example, if beneficiaries are contesting the will or there are other complicated legal issues, they may agree to pay the attorney's fees out of their share of the estate. If the beneficiaries cannot agree on who will pay the fees, a court may order that the fees be paid out of the estate.

Find the best probate attorney for you

Contact us to learn more about our probate attorney fee structures and how we can help you manage the costs associated with this process. Our team is here to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the entire probate process. We understand that this can be a difficult time for families, and we want to do everything possible to make it as easy as possible for you. Give us a call today!

Untitled design 3 Don't face the burden of probate alone.

Speak to our estate specialists today for FREE personalized probate guidance.

Speak to an estate specialist today