What is the average rate for an estate lawyer to settle an estate of $700,000?

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I wanted to add that roughly another $1,000 was spent on misc costs related to probate such as count filing fees and a three week run of a required death notice in a local newspaper- required here to make the death public in case someone wanted to file a claim against the estate. Maybe your attorney is giving you one lump figure. Adding that in I paid a little over $3,000 which is a little closer to the percentage of your guys estimate but still not as high.
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My attorney first estimated 2-4% of the amount probated.

My mothers estate was very easy - almost everything had beneficiaries named and only one investment account and some loose cash was probated. Also - the inventory that freqflyer mentions - in Oregon that step can be skipped if all beneficiaries sign a legal doc agreeing to it. It doesn't matter if there are a few things or hundreds. Check with your attorney if your state allows that and also if the other beneficiaries will agree to it. It can save significant time and therefore money with an attorney- not to mention the time it takes the court to review the inventory and sign off on it. In Oregon an executor or personal representative- as they are referred to here must attend a class regarding their duties before a judge will sign off in their appointment. This was the only fact I learned during that class that I didn't already know. This tidbit came in the last ten minutes of a tedious two hours but in terms of the money it saves the estate - it made it all worthwhile.

But bottom line - I ended up paying a little over $2,000 for the attorney probating just under $500,000. But again - my moms estate was in order, easy and no issues at all. Still - your attorney sounds a little high to me. Maybe it's the area where you live?
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The percentage cost is charged by the Probate Court for the net worth. Maybe the attorney has that as part of the estimate, which then would make sense of the cost. Ask the attorney to break down the estimate.

There would be a higher cost if the Attorney had to list all the furniture, cars, bank accounts, stocks/bonds, value of the house, coin collections, gold pieces, stamp books, etc.

I had avoided that because my Dad had a Revocable Trust where most of those items were placed, thus not taxable. Unfortunately my Dad never transferred bank accounts or stock to the Trust, so those items are in Probate, and are taxable [it may differ from State to State]. Thank goodness I had Dad transfer his stock to one broker instead of having it scattered everywhere. Same with his bank accounts. My gosh why so many banks? Must have been free toaster and glassware giveaways :P
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Thank you. Yes a will but no trust set up. Amicable siblings. I got a $10,000 estimate but that seemed high. What is the going percentage rate?
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A lot depends on location as to what would be the cost for an Attorney. The large law firms in the mega metro areas could cost $500 or more, some times the para-legals will do some of the work thus their hourly rate is less.

Attorneys in small towns or one person offices could charge less. It depends on what you are comfortable with. I wanted a large law firm which had numerous Elder Law Attorneys just in case the one I was using left the firm.... another could step right into that spot. The larger firms rarely close up shop.

Some attorneys charge a flat fee for doing a case, others can charge by the hour.

And as Katie above pointed out, inheritors fighting over the estate? That happened with my mother's parents estate. It went into probate [no Revocable Trust existed back then] and an immediate relative was upset that she was getting less than other immediate heirs. That probate dragged out for 10 years because that relative kept hiring new attorneys for herself and they had to start from square one. She didn't get a dime more and used up her inheritance on attorney fees :P
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Is this just straight probate...no contest? Inheritors fighting over the estate? No will?

The going rate is $250 per hour. It all depends on the work involved.
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