Probate

Probate is the court-administered procedure for validating a will, paying estate creditors, and distributing to beneficiaries.

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We serve as probate attorneys in Los Angeles County.  This means that we are the attorney for the personal representative, either the executor or administrator of an estate.  The difference between an executor and administrator is that an executor is named in a will.  An administrator exists where the deceased left no will.

Probate is the court procedure when a deceased dies with a will.  It’s also the procedure when a person leaves no will.  In such situations, we say that a person died intestate.

In Los Angeles County, it takes about 18 months to close a probate case.

Attorney’s fees:  The amount of probate attorney’s fees is determined by statute.  Probate Code §10810.  It is based on the value of the estate and is a sliding scale.  Attorney’s fees are the same as the executor’s compensation.

  • 4 percent of the first $100,000 of the estate accounted for by the personal representative;
  • 3 percent of the next $100,000;
  • 2 percent of the next $800,000;
  • 1 percent of the next $9 million; and
  • 0.5 percent of the next $15 million.

     Example 1:   If the value of the probate estate were $200,000, the attorney’s fee would be $7,000.

Executor’s fees:   An executor’s compensation for routine services is the statutory commission provided in Prob C §10800:

     Example 2: If the value of the probate estate is $500,000, the executor’s commission is $13,000.

The commission is a single fee for the entire administration, not an annual fee.  Family members often waive their commission.