Many estate attorneys in the state charge 3% of the first $1 million of the estate in probate fees, which is presumed reasonable under Florida law. That method can lead to gross overpayment of a probate attorney. Our law firm does NOT charge the statutory formula for probate fees.
We offer a flat fee where the circumstances of the estate allow for such an arrangement, and we offer hourly rates in all estates. Currently our hourly rates are $275-300/hr for attorneys and $100 – 110/hr for paralegals.
For estates valued at over $300,000, this usually results in a substantial savings in probate fees compared to the statutory formula. Just because an estate can afford to pay more in legal fees does not mean that it should. After all, there is no more work involved in an estate handling an $800,000 brokerage account than there is for an estate with a $200,000 brokerage account, all other facts being equal. Why should the lawyer in the larger estate charge four times the lawyer in the smaller estate for the same work?
In all cases our Florida probate attorneys give our clients a written probate fee agreement, stating the flat fee or giving an estimate of the hourly fees before we begin, once we receive a description of the kind of property involved and the complexity of the distribution. Our flat fees are based upon the information provided at the outset, and will vary from case to case. However, our most common flat fee for a formal administration that is not subject to federal estate tax is $5,000 plus costs.
Located in Pensacola, the probate attorneys at Statewide Probate serve clients throughout the state. If you need legal services for an estate in Orlando, Sarasota, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, or anywhere in Florida, contact our probate attorneys for a free consultation. Just because 3% is the standard for probate fees in Florida, it doesn't mean it is right.