If you think that you may need assistance in a probate law matter, you are probably looking to hire a probate attorney. An important part of this process that you may be wondering about is,“Who pays probate attorney fees?” Well, that answer depends on a few factors. First, we need to figure out what you need a probate attorney for. You may be in the midst of probate administration or just the beginning; perhaps you need a probate attorney to oversee your duties as a personal representative. On the other hand, maybe you need the legal advice of a probate attorney because you are the beneficiary of a will and you have serious questions about the execution and/or validity of a will. There are many reasons to need the services of a probate attorney. As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider when determining who pays probate attorney fees.
Probate Administration Fees
A probate attorney helps many different people during probate administration, whether it be a personal representative or the beneficiary of a will. During probate administration, a probate attorney may assist in the execution of the decedent’s estate. A probate attorney may help with distributing assets, satisfying debts, and other affairs that deal with an estate when a person dies. A beneficiary to a decedent’s will may hire an attorney. A personal representative may also hire an attorney to assist with any legal issues during the probate administration process. If an attorney is used to help with the administration of the estate, there are few ways to determine who pays the probate attorney and how much.
There are specific Florida statutes that cover costs and attorneys fees in probate. Who pays probate attorney fees? Let’s take a look at the Florida Statutes. In probate proceedings, Florida Statute 733.106(3) states, “Any attorney who has rendered services to an estate may be awarded reasonable compensation from the estate.” If we look at the statute in its entirety, we see much more. According Florida Statute 733.106:
Costs and attorney fees.—
(1) In all probate proceedings, costs may be awarded as in chancery actions.
(2) A person nominated as personal representative, or any proponent of a will if the person so nominated does not act within a reasonable time, if in good faith justified in offering the will in due form for probate, shall receive costs and attorney fees from the estate even though probate is denied or revoked.
(3) Any attorney who has rendered services to an estate may be awarded reasonable compensation from the estate.
(4) If costs and attorney fees are to be paid from the estate under this section, s. 733.6171(4), s. 736.1005, or s. 736.1006, the court, in its discretion, may direct from what part of the estate they shall be paid.
(a) If the court directs an assessment against a person’s part of the estate and such part is insufficient to fully pay the assessment, the court may direct payment from the person’s part of a trust, if any, if a pour-over will is involved and the matter is interrelated with the trust.
(b) All or any part of the costs and attorney fees to be paid from the estate may be assessed against one or more persons’ part of the estate in such proportions as the court finds to be just and proper.
(c) In the exercise of its discretion, the court may consider the following factors:
1. The relative impact of an assessment on the estimated value of each person’s part of the estate.
2. The amount of costs and attorney fees to be assessed against a person’s part of the estate.
3. The extent to which a person whose part of the estate is to be assessed, individually or through counsel, actively participated in the proceeding.
4. The potential benefit or detriment to a person’s part of the estate expected from the outcome of the proceeding.
5. The relative strength or weakness of the merits of the claims, defenses, or objections, if any, asserted by a person whose part of the estate is to be assessed.
6. Whether a person whose part of the estate is to be assessed was a prevailing party with respect to one or more claims, defenses, or objections.
7. Whether a person whose part of the estate is to be assessed unjustly caused an increase in the amount of costs and attorney fees incurred by the personal representative or another interested person in connection with the proceeding.
8. Any other relevant fact, circumstance, or equity.
(d) The court may assess a person’s part of the estate without finding that the person engaged in bad faith, wrongdoing, or frivolousness.” (2018).
Who pays probate attorney fees? As we can see from the above statute, an attorney may be “awarded reasonable compensation from the estate”. This means that that money from the estate will be used to pay an attorney who has provided any services. Of course, there are other factors to consider. Who pays probate attorney fees can be answered in more detail depending on the facts and circumstances of each situation. When speaking with a probate attorney, you can tell them your specific facts and they can provide a detailed answer based on your unique set of facts.
When it comes to probate law, there are a lot of things that you may read on the internet, and it may be confusing. We recommend contacting someone at our offices to get your questions answered. Our team of attorneys and legal staff at Bret Jones, P.A. are here to help you. It would be our pleasure to guide through any probate law question you may have, including the question, “Who pays probate attorney fees?” Remember, no question is silly, and we respect that you have taken the time out of your day to contact us at our offices.
Who pays probate attorney fees? Talk to Bret Jones, P.A.
Who pays probate attorney fees depends on a few factors. At Bret Jones, P.A., we can speak with you about any questions you have regarding who pays probate attorneys fee and more. Our probate attorneys and legal staff would be happy to answer any questions that you may have about the probate, including who pays probate attorney fees. There are numerous factors to consider in probate law, and we want each and every one of our clients to fully understand anything that comes their way. We don’t leave our clients in the dark at Bret Jones, P.A. It’s important that you fully understand the path that you are taking in any probate matter. You shouldn’t be in the dark. If you have any questions that you need answered, please give us a call. Your first consultation with us is free at Bret Jones, P.A. We respect that your time is precious, and we appreciate your time. As a result, we will be a straightforward as possible when answering any legal questions that you may have. Don’t hesitate to talk to our attorneys and our legal staff. We want all of our clients to achieve their desired outcome. If you have any questions, reach out to us at Bret Jones, P.A.