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PROBATE ESTATES - Negotiable Attorney's Fees for Simple Estates

If a parent (or other close relative) passed away owning real estate but never executed an estate plan that included a trust, California law requires the heir(s) to file a petition in Probate Court in order to gain legal title to the property. Among other expenses required by law, the Probate Code also specifies the fee payable to the estate administrator and his or her attorney. That fee is based on the market value of the estate at the time of the decedent's passing, irrespective of any loans outstanding on the estate property, which can be quite expensive. For example, the statutory attorney's fee is $13,000 to probate an estate whose only asset is a typical $500,000 single family home in Southern California, whether or not loans against the property are outstanding.

The law that authorizes the above statutory attorney's fees does not preclude an attorney and client from negotiating a lower fee. That's where I come in. In many cases, I can discount a substantial % off the normal attorney's fee. Each case is different, so feel free to call 310-486-4138 for a no-obligation consultation.

Jeffrey E Katz
SBN 269119

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