Recently, a potential client called and asked if she needed to hire an attorney to administer an estate.
Her mother had passed away, and she was named personal representative in her mother’s will. She told me friends had informed her they were able to act as personal representatives of estates without an attorney.
After some questions to me, she revealed that she was concerned that hiring an attorney would be too costly.
I advised that she did need to hire an attorney to represent her as personal representative of her mother’s estate.
Next, we discussed attorney fees and costs.
Undoubtedly, one of the first questions we are asked by potential probate clients is what our firm charges to represent the personal representative in a probate administration.
If that is the client’s first question, we typically cannot give an answer. Or at least, we cannot give an accurate estimate. This is because we do not know the value of the estate or the number of beneficiaries. Other factors include the potential creditors of the decedent and whether the probate will involve the transfer of real property.
Only after discussions with the potential client on these topics are we able to give a firm answer. Even probate mills that attempt to attract potential clients with offers of low-cost attorney representation for personal representatives will reference “prices for formal administration starting at (x).”
This is because they will likely be asking the same questions before giving a more accurate price estimate.
If you’re looking for a law firm to represent you as personal representative in a probate administration, make sure that you are comfortable with the attorney you are interviewing.
If you’ve recently lost a loved one and have been nominated as personal representative or if you just have questions about probate administration, please contact us.
Attorney Neil T. Lyons pursued a career in law for the sole purpose of helping people. His practice focuses on the area of elder law, including estate planning, trust and probate administration and guardianship. His early legal experience solidified his commitment to assisting, whenever possible, two very vulnerable groups: children and the elderly. He receives repeated recognition by various organizations for his pro bono efforts in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Neil also consistently engages in service to the legal community and joined the Luhrsen Goldberg staff in 2019.