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By: Scott Grossman on June 14th, 2017

Pay the Same for Certified Specialist

How much does Probate cost in California? San Diego Probates Pay the Same for Certified Specialist

Anyone starting a San Diego probate has to ask themselves whether they want a California probate lawyer who is a certified specialist or if they want a generalist to help them.  Surprisingly, a certified specialist doesn’t cost any more than hiring a generalist. In California attorneys cannot just charge whatever they like to handle a probate case. Probate in California is governed by the statutory fee schedule for all ordinary work.

For most cases, ordinary fees are the only fees that the probate will have. They are based on the statutory fee schedule which is broken down in percentages. The ordinary fees are the same for the executor of the estate and the attorney.

There is a percentage system:

  • 4% of the first $100,000,
  • 3% of the next $100,000,
  • 2% of the next $800,000
  • 1% of the amount above that.

The value of the probate estate is not determined by the probate attorney or the executor. The Probate Referee determines the value and is a neutral third party appointed by the court. This allows the estate value to be determined and then everyone knows what the fees for ordinary work will be.

Extraordinary fees are present when there are extraordinary circumstances.

The two most common issues are sale of real estate in the probate or probate litigation. These two things each create more work for the attorney. The attorney is allowed to charge an additional hourly fee in these situations.

All fees, both ordinary and extraordinary, are submitted to the court for approval in a petition. Copies of the petition will go to all the beneficiaries also so everyone will be aware of the cost for the attorney fees.

We regularly administer estates and appear on behalf of our probate clients in the Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles, and other California  probate courts. For more information about the probate of estates and administration of trusts in California, request our free book The Insider’s Guide to California Probate and Trust Administration. We also offer a free 30-minute phone consultation. Call 888-443-6590 to schedule an appointment with a certified specialist attorney to help you through this difficult time.