First things first. What is probate? It is the legal process of reviewing and determining the legitimacy of a deceased person’s will. Proving the document’s validity in court is vital to ensure that the deceased’s assets are distributed to the beneficiaries without other people trying to contest it.
It is crucial to hire a good probate lawyer in situations where the will’s validity is in question. Large amounts of physical and financial assets are always involved. Because of these, the law deemed it proper to set clear guidelines so that lawyers do not charge their clients excessively.
In the sunshine state, there are specific guidelines set for lawyers on how to price their services. Section 733.6171(3) of the Florida Statutes lay down what fees are considered reasonable:
- 1. For estates valued at $40,000.00 or less, the attorney’s fees should be $1,500.00.
- 2. For estates valued from $40,000.01 to $70,000.00, an additional $750 is charged, bringing the total fee to $2,250.00.
- 3. An additional $750 is charged on top of the previous one for estates valued from $70,000.01 to $100,000.00, bringing the total to $3,000.00.
- 4. For estates with values ranging from $100,000.01 to $1 million, the fees are set as the sum of these values:
- a. $3,000.00 base fee; plus
- b. An additional 3% of the estate’s value from $100,000.01 to $1,000,000.00.
- 5. For estates above $1 million up to $3 million, there is an additional 2.5% computed from $1,000,000.01 to $3,000,000.00 on top of the previous sum.
- 6. For values above $3 million up to $5 million, an additional 2% is computed from $3,000,000.01 to $5,000,000.00 on top of the previous sum.
- 7. For values above $5 million up to $10 million, an additional 1.5% is computed from $5,000,000.01 to $10,000,000.00 on top of the previous sum.
- 8. Lastly, for estates valued above $10 million, an additional 1% is computed for any value above $10 million, on top of the previous sum.
Although many Florida lawyers consider this a rule, these are just guidelines that the law deems to be fair to both the client and the attorney. However, the work done by the lawyer isn’t necessarily vastly different for an estate valued at $40,000.00 and one valued for $10 million. The values mentioned above aren’t really required. Some law firms and offices may charge a flat rate instead of a percent-based approach.
So exactly how much does a probate lawyer cost in Florida? Well, these rates may even be higher or lower depending entirely upon the agreement between the client and the lawyer. Situations may call for different rates, so make sure you hire someone who can give you great value for your need.
Give Us a Call Today
If you wish to consult regarding a probate case, reach out to us at the Law Offices of Marilyn C Belo in Gainesville, Florida. We are more than glad to provide you the professional legal service that you require.