Should law firms give a fixed fee for Probate job? If so how much should it be? A number of solicitors still demand a percent age of the value of the estate plus an hourly rate of around ₤ 200 for Probate task. Banks bill an extraordinary 3% of the value of the estate.
This is too much. The latest study for the Legal Services Board, which was conducted by YouGov, surveyed 2000 individuals. They found that:
“Those who do find paid-for guidance find the costs change dramatically. Firms who estimate a fixed price are by far the most inexpensive, asking for an average of GBP1,238. Practitioners who estimated fees based on hourly rates billed an average of GBP1,862. Clients who were charged according to a combination of these two, often with a percentage of the estate included, paid the highest prices – an average of GBP2,531, more than double the regular fixed fee estimation.”
We always estimate a fixed fee, and my experience is that there are typically some concerns or difficulties no-one expected at the beginning. Conversely, giving they are reasonably easily fixed I take the extra cost on the nose, it’s part of the service we present and the reason it makes sense to use a seasoned solicitor.
So what do we charge? I am amazed at the low levels estimated in the YouGov study and I question the level of service that can be given at that price. I hope the quotes presented are for an extensive job from firms of solicitors that will give an impressive service. San Diego probate attorney study reveals that non-regulated firms charge extra for many items my firm would include within the fixed price. I will regularly ask a number of questions before quoting, and my charge average is currently ₤ 2,250.
The significant thing is that clients then understand where they stand, and don’t worry that each time they pick up the phone there will be even more to pay.