Generally, attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation with a potential client. This is also true for Elder Law Attorneys. The subsequent fees for legal work are based on the type of services provided. There are certain types of fees that are set by various state statutes, such as probate work. So, what do elder law attorneys charge? It depends.
What types of legal matters do elder law attorneys handle?
As with any other specialty, there some legal matters that most elder law attorneys will handle, including:
- Medicare and Medi-Cal coverage for long-term care
- Estate planning and administration of estates
- Establishing and administering various types trusts
- Probate matters
Usually, elder law or estate planning attorneys charge a flat rate for the particular services they provide. Since, each client has different needs a list of services and applicable rates is difficult to provide. At the Schomer Law Group, the costs and fees for any plan we propose will be explained to you in advance.
Common Elder Law Services
Elder law involves estate planning, which is basically making a plan in advance. The plan will explain how you want your assets to be distributed after you die. Comprehensive estate planning for elders should also include some of the following options:
- Instructions for your care if you become disabled
- Identifying a guardian and manager for the inheritance of minor children
- Provisions for family members with special needs
- Provisions for loved ones who may be unable to manage their own affairs
- Life insurance, disability income insurance, and long-term care insurance
- Plans for transferring your business at your retirement, disability or death
Once your plan has been established, it needs to be reviewed and updated as your family and financial situations change throughout your lifetime. Even if you believe you may not be able to afford a complex estate plan, you can always start with something simpler. As your needs change and your financial situation improves, you can expand your plan as necessary.
Attorney fees for probate work
In California, the fees attorneys can charge of probate work is set by statute, based on the gross value of the estate. The attorney’s fee schedule is as follows:
- 4% of the first $100,000 of the gross value of the probate estate
- 3% of the next $100,000
- 2% of the next $800,000
- 1% of the next $9 million
- 0.5% of the next $15 million
In addition to attorney’s fees, there are other fees that may be required during the probate process, such as court fees, personal representative fees, accounting fees, appraisal and/or business valuation fees. Court fees and personal representative fees are also set by state law.
Depending on the nature of the estate, there may also be miscellaneous fees like postage for mail notices and other documents; the cost of insuring and storing personal property; shipping personal property; and the cost of moving personal property. These fees are normally deducted from the probated estate.
If you have questions regarding elder law, or estate planning needs, please contact the Schomer Law Group either online or by calling us at (310) 337-7696.