Negotiating Probate Fees in Advance

It’s important to negotiate your probate fees with your CPA, Accountant or Attorney for probate and/or trust administration purposes prior to your passing. When someone loses a loved one, most are unable to make critical financial decisions due to grief and stress. Unfortunately, some professionals take advantage of families in these types of situations. Many professionals charge their clients the statutory rate for their estate administration services. However, they’re actually charging 5% of the estate, which can be exorbitant for a smaller estate.

You can avoid these high probate costs by negotiating in advance with professionals and ensuring that your CPA or attorney charges a reasonable fee based upon the expected difficulty in handling your particular estate. An hourly fee is fairer to the client than percentage-based billing in most cases. At W.G. Alexander & Associates, we handle our estates based upon our hourly rates, unless the estate is taxable for Federal Estate Tax purposes. In those instances, we charge a small percentage (still less than most banks or other professionals) to file an estate tax return for our clients. Be sure to make things as easy as possible for your loved ones – negotiate your probate fees in advance of needing those services.

If you need assistance with your estate administration, or if you have questions about government assistance programs such as Medicaid, Veterans Benefits, or other Special Needs programs, consider W.G. Alexander & Associates – we offer a unique blend of asset protection, Elder Law and estate planning. You can also attend our free seminars, learn more through our website at, or call us at (919) 256-7000.

Attorney Bill Alexander discusses these issues and more every Tuesday morning on W.G. Alexander & Associates’ radio program, “Asset Protection Today,” on TalkRadio 850 WPTK (AM). Be sure to listen from 9:00-10:00 AM.