I recently became administrator to my fathers estate and was considering hiring an attorney to help me. About how much should I expect to pay for services on an estate of around $40,000?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Attorney's fees, if this is in NC, have to be approved by the clerk. They can vary depending on the size and complexity of the estate. Attorneys can have different ways of being paid. Some attorneys will just charge based on their hourly rate. The advantage of this is that you can do a lot of the probate work yourself and only use the attorney when needed. In the alternative, some attorneys just want to do the whole thing and serve as the personal representative. In these cases, the lawyer does not charge attorney's fees (unless the attorney has to do legal work above and beyond ordinary estate administration) but will take a commission. Personal representatives are entitled to a commission equal to 5% of the assets and disbursements. Again, this would be reviewed by the clerk. Finally, there is a percentage-based system that can range from 1% to 7% roughly with smaller estates paying a higher percentage.