Affordable Sacramento Probate Attorney
Attorney Jin Kim at Sacramento Law Group LLP is one of the few affordable probate attorneys in California. After a free phone consultation attorney Jin Kim can help you navigate probate court and close out the estate for $500 less than California statutory fees. With no upfront attorney fees and reduced fees upon closing the estate, attorney Jin Kim helps clients administer their loved ones estate in a timely and affordable manner.
If you have been appointed as the executor, administrator, or if your loved one died without a will, call our probate attorney at (916) 299-9913 for a free consultation.
How Much Does A Probate Attorney Cost?
Fortunately, probate attorney fees are not paid upfront, so cost isn’t usually a barrier when retaining a probate attorney. As to the cost at the close of representation, while attorney Jin Kim charges less than most probate attorneys, unfortunately there’s very little price competition between probate attorneys. Unlike other states, California allows probate attorneys to charge a “statutory fee.” The fee is established in Probate Code Section 10810 and is represented as a percentage of the gross value of the estate:
- 4% of the first one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), plus
- 3% of the next one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), plus
- 2% of the next eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000), plus
- 1% of the next nine million dollars ($9,000,000), plus
- .5% of the next fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000)
When computing the gross value of the estate debts such as mortgages and other forms of secured and unsecured debts are not included. For example, if a decedent’s estate only consists of a $300,000 house with a $100,000 mortgage the statutory fee would be based on the $300,000 figure. In that event, the probate attorney’s statutory fee would be $9,000.
Can Probate Attorneys Charge Less?
Yes. Most probate lawyers give the impression that the statutory fee is the only rate that can be charged, but that’s not true. The statutory fee establishes the maximum rate a probate attorney can charge. The personal representative and attorney can negotiate for a lower rate before representation begins.
Sacramento Law Group LLP is one of the few law firms that charge less than the statutory fee. Our probate attorney charges 3.5% on the first $100,000. Accordingly, by hiring our probate attorney the estate can save as much as $500 on attorney fees.
Why Does The Statutory Fee Exist?
Executors are often distressed following their loved one’s death and vulnerable to probate attorneys who overcharge for their services. To prevent such a situation from occurring the California State Legislature established a statutory fee that sets a maximum rate probate attorneys can charge for “ordinary” services.
Why Do I Need A Probate Attorney?
Probate is a very complicated area of California law that holds considerable liability for anyone administering an estate. Errors can lead to costly trust litigation that not only exposes the administrator to liability, but can deplete the value of an estate leaving little for beneficiaries. To help avoid liability and efficiently navigate the probate process in court, many individuals choose to retain a probate attorney. Fortunately, probate attorneys are only compensated at the end of the engagement out of the estate, making skilled attorneys accessible and affordable.
Why Should You Hire A Probate Attorney?
- You don’t pay the attorney. Attorney fees are paid from the estate at the end of the probate. The personal representative (executor, administrator) does not personally pay the attorney fees.
- Avoid liability. Probate attorneys help the personal representative avoid mismanagement of the estate and thereby avoid personal liability and damages.
- Close the estate faster. Probate attorneys efficiently administer the estate. Non-attorneys may find court appearances, filings, and court procedures time-consuming and difficult to understand.
Is The Personal Representative Compensated?
Yes. The personal representative (Executor if there is a will or the Administrator if no will exists) may be compensated in an amount equivalent to the statutory fee in Probate Code Section 10810.
Why Do Some Personal Representatives Waive Their Fee?
It’s up to the personal representative to decide whether to waive or collect their statutory fee. Some personal representatives are the sole beneficiary and would prefer to waive their statutory fee to receive more non-taxable income. Other personal representatives initially elect to waive their fee to enlarge the estate for beneficiaries, but later reconsider in light of the considerable work expended in probate.
$500 OFF Attorney Fees, Same Professional Service
Our Sacramento probate attorney delivers the same professional representation anyone would expect of legal counsel. However, unlike the majority of probate attorneys, we charge less than the statutory attorney fees identified in California Probate Code § 10810. With attorney fees payable through the estate, our reduced fees are designed to help Executors avoid personal liability for mismanagement at a cost less than statutory attorney fees.
If you have been named as the Executor in a will, or if your loved one passed away without a will, call our probate attorney at (916) 299-9913 for a free consultation.