Was charged just over 20k the probate on my dad's estate vaulted at alittle over 100k. Is that too much?
3 attorney answers
First of all, my condolances for your loss. It is never easy to lose someone so suddenly.
Secondly, I changed your catagory to Probate, b/c I think this question is better answered by a probate attorney.
And finally, while it is true you would have paid more in fees if you had hired an auto accident attorney, it does not necessarily mean the probate attorney did not overcharge you. So never feel bad or guilty about asking this question, because it is a valid one. What a personal injury attorney might charge for their services in any particular case should never affect or influence what a probate attorney charges for theirs. Personal injury attorneys work off contingency contracts, while probate attorneys usually work off flat rate and/or hourly rate contracts. Since I am a personal injury attorney, I cannot answer your question directly.
However, I can tell you this: whenever I have wrongful death cases, I have to get a probate attorney involved to handle probating the estate, similar to the one who handled your father's probate. In the many cases I have involved a probate attorney, he has NEVER charged my client $20k for his services. Granted, he never handled the settlement portion of the claim, but as you stated, it was not a fight. The insurance company just handed over the check, and were probably happy to do so since the value of the claim far exceeded their policy limits. So I can't imagine that involved more than an hour or two of "extra" work by the probate attorney, if any. I think you need to track down a few other probate attorneys in your area and pose your question to them. Obviously, your short post surely left out many details of the probate, so it's possible that it was a complicated and time-consuming one, so knowing those details will be helpful to anyone you talk to. Good luck.
Legal Disclaimer: If this information has been helpful, please indicate below. Mr. Frick is licensed in Florida only. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Often, the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, could significantly change the reply or make it unsuitable altogether. Mr. Frick always advises to seek out an attorney in this area of practice to further investigate your potential claim.
Look at your fee agreement and the bill to determine what you were charged for and how much time was spent on extraordinary fees.
My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.
oorrrrr you could have hire been forced to hire a TV mill law firm to have a $33,000.00+ legal fee on the same case. Its always fine to ask questions and inquire BUT be wary of presuming that you or the estate is getting screwed on the fees some how and attacking the lawyer as they might have done a favor financially.
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