Who Pays the Probate Attorney?

Senior citizen thinking about probate attorney

Many people don’t hire a probate attorney to help them with the probate process because they are afraid that they will have to pay for the attorney themselves.  Fortunately, this is not the case.

We understand that an attorney can be expensive and feel intimidating.  We do our best to be unlike any other law firm you’ve ever met.  We hope that from your first interaction with us you can feel our care and compassion for you and your family.  We also do what we can to be conscious of the cost for you.  We do what we need to do in order to ensure that your family is taken care of, and that you are protected as the personal representative.  However, we will never encourage you to go to court or create conflict just to increase our attorney’s fees.  We are here to ensure that you and your family get caring and competent representation in a cost-effective way. 

The attorney fees are the responsibility of the estate.  This means that the money that is in your loved one’s estate will be used to pay the attorney fees.  This is permissible in the law, as well as in every will or trust that I’ve seen in many years of practice.  You do not have to pay the attorney’s fees out of your own pocket.

Yes, that does mean that if you are a beneficiary of the estate that you will be paying for part of the attorney’s fees from your inheritance.  For example, if there are three heirs to the estate, and you are one, then your inheritance will be reduced by 1/3.  However, the benefit of having an attorney to ensure that everything is done correctly, and to handle a lot of the work for you, is well worth the cost.

A probate attorney is a good investment. We want to ensure that our services are actually helping you and your family.  We see our assistance as your investment in yourself and your family.  Trying to figure out the probate process alone is very stressful and overwhelming. 

Trying to do probate on your own is expensive in time.  In our opinion, time is your most precious asset.  We know that you would rather be spending that time with your family or on your favorite hobby, not slogging through confusing court paperwork.  Let us give you back your time so that you can use it for better things.

Probate can be emotionally expensive.  How can emotions be expensive?  Think about it.  I am sure that you’ve had emotional experiences in your life that you would far rather have paid money to avoid.  Or there are situations that just drain you so that you have nothing left for yourself or your family.  We consider those situations (and others) to be emotionally expensive.  Don’t use your precious bandwidth on something that we can help you do with much more ease and knowledge.  We understand that you are grieving and want to help you and your family with care and compassion.

What if I don’t have access to the estate money yet?  It’s a common issue that you can’t get access to the estate money yet because you haven’t been appointed as the personal representative.  This is a good thing: it means that the banks won’t release the money to someone who doesn’t have the authority to use it correctly.  The typical solution is that a family member will “loan” the estate the attorney retainer.  We can usually get you appointed as PR within a month or so.  After you are appointed and can get everything moved to an estate account you can pay back that family loan quickly.  We know that this is a concern, and we can help.

A consultation will give you peace of mind: Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our caring and compassionate legal team.  Let us make the probate process less scary and give you back time and calm.  We look forward to talking to you soon.

Still have more questions?  See these other helpful resources:

From RLC’s Blogs:

  • What Should I Do After Someone Dies?
  • What is Probate?
  • Probate vs Non-Probate Assets
  • What is a Probate Inventory and Accounting?
  • Being a personal representative (aka executor) feels like a part-time job. Can I get paid?
  • Probate Timeline
  • Who Pays The Probate Attorney?

Other resources:

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