How Much Does New York Probate Cost?

Key Takeaways from “How Much Probate Costs”:

Attorney’s Fee

As a firm, our average rate is $200 per hour (including the full range hourly rates, from paralegals to attorneys)

A rule of thumb of New York probate lawyer fees: total attorney fees are usually about the same as the total executor’s fee, between ~3% of the estate.

Executor’s Fee

The executor’s fee (or “commission”) is set by New York State law. It’s typically ~3% of the value of the estate. Here’s a link for the exact calculation.

Full Audio Transcript:

Let’s talk about How Much Probate Costs.

I’m sure you’ve tried searching online, and couldn’t find much information on probate lawyer fees. (Apparently, we’re a very secretive group).

So I’m sure you’ll find this information useful.

By now you should have watched my talk on: “How Probate Will Impact You and Your Family and How to Choose a Probate Lawyer.” If not, you should go watch it now.

Alright. Let’s start by talking about how we work, and what you’re getting.

Most clients ask us to step into the role of professional executor, as well as probate lawyer. Because this addresses your most important concerns: time, family, upfront cost, and stress.

As professional executor, we handle the entire probate process for you, not just the technical legal parts.

Because you’re busy with your own life, and maybe you can’t take time off from work, or fly back and forth to New York. Or maybe you just don’t want to spend your free time standing on line, or waiting on hold.

In my experience, a professional and independent executor is the best way to avoid family conflict. Most family conflict is because of 1 of 2 reasons.

The first reason is other family members lack confidence that the executor is doing everything correctly.

Choosing a professional executor reassures everyone that the whole probate process (not just the court parts, is being done the right way.

And the second reason is hard-feelings over control. Even if none of the family seems to have a problem, I’ve seen folks simmer in silence, only to explode later. “Why is my brother the one in charge!?!”

With a non-family executor, everyone is on equal footing. No family member has more control, or is “above” the others.

When we serve as professional executor, we’re able to start working on your case now, without a large upfront retainer. Most traditional attorney require a few thousand dollars before they start any work.

As executor, we handle the estate funds, and we get paid when the family gets their inheritance. So we’re all in the same boat. Most clients really appreciate that our interests are aligned like this.

So now that you know how we work, and what you get, let’s go over the fees.

The professional executor fee (or “commission”) is set by New York State law. It’s between 2% and 5% of the value of the estate. Here’s a link for the exact calculation.

You’ll also have legal fees for the technical legal work. Most lawyers charge on an hourly basis.

Our average rate is $200 per hour. So, if you’ve done your research, you probably realize this is an incredibly competitive rate, especially for a New York City law office.

That’s because we have excellent support staff and paralegals, so you’re not paying an attorney’s $800/hour rate for just a quick question or status update.

Lastly, let me teach you the rule of thumb of probate lawyer fees. The total attorney fees are usually about the same as the total executor’s fee, between 2% and 5% of the estate.

But this is just a rough guide. If the estate is very complicated, it can be more, and less if it’s very simple.

Before our one-on-one call, make sure to review all the information we’ve sent you, like this video. Everything should sound like a good fit, so we can focus on how to get started.

But if not, that’s ok too, just give us a call to let us know.

I hope you found this helpful.

[Previously posted on YouTube]

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