The comprehensive guide to probate, trusts, estate planning, and inheritance litigation.

Does a Personal Representative Need to Hire A Lawyer

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Yes.  In Florida, a personal representative must be represented by an attorney admitted to practice in Florida, pursuant to Florida Probate Rule 5.030.

There is an exception to the rule that a personal representative needs to hire a lawyer.   A personal representative who is an attorney admitted to practice in Florida may represent himself or herself as personal representative pursuant to Florida Probate Rule 5.030(a).

What Does the Lawyer For The Personal Representative Get Paid?

The probate attorney for the estate is entitled to compensation from the estate for the legal services performed.

Florida Statute Section 733.6171 provides for the payment of attorney fees, without a court order. That probate statute provides that the attorney fee may be determined by agreement of the interested persons, may be set if properly disclosed to the persons bearing the cost of the attorney, or may be determined pursuant to a fee schedule set forth in the statute.

The fee schedule for compensation for ordinary services of attorneys in a formal estate administration is as follows:

(a) One thousand five hundred dollars for estates having a value of $40,000 or less.
(b) An additional $750 for estates having a value of more than $40,000 and not exceeding $70,000.
(c) An additional $750 for estates having a value of more than $70,000 and not exceeding $100,000.
(d) For estates having a value in excess of $100,000, at the rate of 3 percent on the next $900,000.
(e) At the rate of 2.5 percent for all above $1 million and not exceeding $3 million.
(f) At the rate of 2 percent for all above $3 million and not exceeding $5 million.
(g) At the rate of 1.5 percent for all above $5 million and not exceeding $10 million.
(h) At the rate of 1 percent for all above $10 million.

In addition to the amounts set forth on the attorney fee schedule, additional fees may be awarded for extraordinary services, such as litigation, or dealing with protected homestead. For a quick reference guide, download the Complete Guide to Attorney’s Fees In Florida Probate.

Complete Guide to Florida Probate

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