Fees for Probate and Trust Administration

Probate Fees. Depending upon the complexity and makeup of the decedent’s estate, legal fees for the firm’s services will be between $350 and $450 an hour.  The hourly rate for any associate attorney or paralegal will be between $175-$295.   Time records are kept in tenths of an hour, and the minimum billing unit is one-tenth (1/10) of an hour.  Payment will be due on a monthly basis, as billed.  In Maryland probate estates, payment by the Estate from estate assets for charges to an Estate for legal services must either be approved by the Orphans’ Court or consents from Interested Persons must be obtained; therefore, initially all fees will be the personal responsibility of the Personal Representative, paid from the client’s personal funds.  In the District of Columbia, the Personal Representative may pay attorney’s fees from estate funds.

Retainer Fee:  Because probate matters require the firm to commit a substantial amount of attorney time in the future, clients are required to pay an initial retainer fee based on the complexity of the matter.   This retainer fee will be held in a trust account and disbursed as fees accrue.

Costs. All costs are in addition to legal fees. Examples of these costs are bond premiums, publication costs. duplicating and printing expenses, telephone charges, automobile mileage, messenger services, court filing fees, witness fees, and all similar out-of-pocket expenses. Major expenses such as deposition costs and expert witness fees may be required, but will not be expended without your prior approval.

Trust Administration.  $425 an hour.  A retainer fee is required, based on the complexity of the matter.

Extraordinary Services: Services outside the usual scope of estate and trust administration (“Extraordinary Services”) will not be undertaken or provided without your prior approval. Extraordinary Services include, for example, representation of the estate in the following matters: sale or lease of estate property; coordinating ancillary probate proceedings, or searching for, dealing with, or obtaining assets in other states or countries; transferring, collecting, recovering, or dealing with assets not subject to probate; will contest, will construction, litigation to recover assets for the estate, challenge to or attempted removal of the personal representative, contested or adversary proceedings in probate, creditors’ suite or disputes, beneficiary objections requiring court appearance, objections to the accounting or the personal representative’s fees or other litigation; defense of the Maryland or federal estate tax return in audit proceedings; the Firm’s performance of services usually performed by the personal representative; complicated, extensive or unusual procedures required in rendering services agreed to be performed; appearance before zoning boards or other administrative bodies or boards.