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By: Scott Grossman on June 18th, 2018

Contingency Cost for Probate Litigations

While making arrangements with your probate lawyer to pay on a contingency cost basis may save you from having to provide payment upfront, this type of relationship is not right for every matter. Every probate or trust lawsuit has its own unique set of facts and circumstances. Depending on these circumstances, you may be better suited to either hourly billing or contingency cost arrangements.

Once you have determined that your attorney is willing to offer both types of payment options, consider the following as you decide which arrangement is best for your case:

  1. First of all, consider the overall complexity of the estate litigation matter. What is the size of the inheritance that is at stake? How many parties are involved?
  2. Also, assess the percentage fee that the attorney is proposing. Generally, fees in California fall between about 33% and 50% of the total recovery.
  3. Furthermore ask yourself, what is the nature of the dispute? Does the claim involve a will or trust contest, a trustee removal action, or other claims that are typically well suited for contingency cost arrangements?
  4. Additionally, are you able to receive any of your inheritance prior to having to initiate the filing?
  5. Lastly, are you able to pay the costs of probate litigation out of your own pocket if necessary?

In conclusion, while it may seem like a difficult choice to determine the best method for paying your legal fees, it is often better than the alternative. If you opt to do nothing and fail to pursue your legal rights, you may lose out on a substantial inheritance that could rightfully be yours.

  • Estate (noun): An estate includes the things that a person owns. The things left by someone who has died can be distributed based on a Will, Trust, or Intestate laws. Estates have to be administered in the Probate Court if the estate meets certain criteria. See our Infographic on The Probate Process.
  • Contingency (noun): Payment for legal services that depend on the attorney being able to recover or win an award in the case. The payment is then a percentage of the amount recovered. This amount can vary based on if the case goes to trial or if it is settled.

If you are ready to start your case, then please give us a call or fill out our Get Help Now form. A comprehensive overview of California Probate is available here. Should you have additional questions about trust litigation, you will find plenty of useful information in our Learning Center.