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In California the statutory attorneys’ fees for probates, per Probate Code Section 10810 is 4% on the first $100,000, 3% on the second $100,000, 2% on the next $800,000, 1% on the next $9,000,000, and 1/2% on the next $15,000,000; for any amount over $25,000,000, the fee is what the parties agree to and the Court approves. Thus for a $400,000 California probate, the statutory attorneys’ fee would be $11,000.
We offer a 10% discount from the statutory fee rate on uncontested California probates involving $400,000 or more and a 20% discount on uncontested California probates involving $1,000,000 or more. We believe that published discounts from the statutory attorney fee for probates in California are very rare.
Disclosure: For Nevada Probates we base our fee on the gross value of the real estate minus the mortgage even though the Nevada Probate Fee Statute allows attorneys to base the fee on the full gross value of the real estate without deduction for the mortgage. In California probates we base our fee on the full gross value of the real estate without deduction for the mortgage, if any.
Note: In many cases when a person dies some property passes outside of probate and some requires probate. For example, a man dies owning a home which is only in his name, and a bank account with a payable on death beneficiary. Only the home would have to go through the probate process.
Money Saving Tip: Sometimes we encounter a situation where a man dies leaving a wife and leaving real estate in his name only. We may be able to argue that the wife already owns half of the real estate under community property laws so that the value of the probate (for purposes of our fee and for court cost purposes) is only half its real value.
Probate Court fees and other out of pocket expenses in California probates are substantially higher than in Nevada and in addition to our fees. The actual fees paid the court are substantially higher in California than in Nevada. The costs of required publications varies by county in both states with Clark County, Nevada, having one of the cheapest publications costs. In Nevada, the expense of a buying a bond can always be avoided by the client agreeing that all money collected will go through the lawyer's trust account. In California the court might allow that to avoid the cost of a bond, but many California Courts will exerise their discretion to demand the purchase of a bond even when the law permits there to be no bond. In California the bond usually costs 1/2% of the value of the estate.
Because Jonathan Reed, Douglas Reed and Daniel Reed are licensed in California we can represent clients from any state in a California uncontested probate proceeding.