2024 How Much Does a Probate Lawyer Cost in Florida?

Feb 19, 2024

In Florida, a probate lawyer’s costs will depend on their services and your needs. In many cases, probate is necessary to ensure that a person’s will is carried out and enforced. However, there are exceptions to this rule for small estates. When asking the question, “How much does a probate lawyer cost in Florida?” it is important to consider things like the size of the estate.

What Is Probate?

Probate usually consists of three steps:

  1. Gathering all the deceased person’s assets, making sure they are all accessible, and assigning a value to them
  2. Paying any outstanding bills or debts to creditors, any outstanding tax bills, and anything the deceased person owed
  3. Giving parts of the estate to the heirs specified in the will, or if a will was never created, using state law to distribute assets.

Probate Lawyer Costs

The exact cost for a probate lawyer is stated in Florida law. These figures are not legally enforced and are meant to serve as a guide for those considering a probate attorney:

  • $40,000 or less: $1,500 flat fee
  • $40,000-$70,000: $2,250 flat fee
  • $70,000-$100,000: $3,000 flat fee
  • $100,000-$1 million: $3,000 flat fee and 3% of the amount over $100,000 (not the entire estate)
  • $1 million-$3 million: $3,000 flat fee and 2.5% of the amount over $1 million
  • $3 million-$5 million: $3,000 flat fee and 2% of the amount over $3 million
  • $5 million-$10 million: $3,000 flat fee and 1.5% of the amount over $5 million
  • $10 million or more: $3,000 flat fee and 1% of the amount over $10 million

For example, if an estate is $500,000, a rough guideline for attorney fees could be $3,000 + 3% of $400,000 ($12,000). This brings the total to around $15,000.

Usually, a personal representative is appointed to manage the will and make sure it is followed. The personal representative pays the attorney fees from the value of the estate. Before agreeing to work with a probate attorney, ask them about their pricing for probate for the size of the estate you are managing so that you understand the costs that might be involved.

Probate for Small Estates

Some estates are not required to go through the traditional probate process. Here are some options for a nontraditional probate depending on the value of the estate:

  • Disposition Without Administration: This only applies to individuals without real estate. If an individual has under $20,000 in exempt personal property and less in any other form of property than their funeral expenses, an individual can file a Disposition of Personal Property Without Administration form with the court. This form must also come with a death certificate, the will, and other documents to prove things like funeral costs.
  • Summary Administration: If the individual died over two years ago or the individual had less than $75,000 in probate assets, they might not have to go through the traditional probate process. Instead of a personal representative being appointed like in other probate cases, the court simply gives the property outlined in the will to those who are outlined to receive it.
  • Exemptions: Assets that are owned by multiple people do not usually have to go through probate. This also applies to living trusts and assets with beneficiaries, including retirement accounts or life insurance. The value of these assets is not included in the final estate calculations and should not be used to calculate attorney fees.


Q: How Much Does a Simple Probate Cost in Florida?

A: The cost of a probate in Florida can be anywhere between $1,500 and 3% of the estate’s value. The exact cost depends on the size of the estate. There are also additional fees for filing court documents, working with an accountant, and if there are any elements of the will that need to be evaluated in multiple states. In many cases, it is also required to publish a notice to creditors about the probate in newspapers, which usually comes with its own fee.

Q: Do I Need a Lawyer for a Florida Probate?

A: In most cases, a lawyer is needed for a Florida probate. There are some situations in which an estate does not need to go through the probate process, especially if it is small. Additionally, the probate process can be complicated if there are people who contest certain elements of the will. This is why it is important to consult a probate attorney to handle any conflicts that arise during probate.

Q: How Much Does an Estate Have to Be Worth to Go to Probate in FL?

A: Any estate can go to probate in FL, but smaller estates worth less than $20,000 in exempt personal property and containing less property than needed for funeral expenses might not have to go through the process. In these cases, the property can go through disposition without administration. If the individual did not create a will, they must be dead for over a year before this process can take place.

Q: How Long Do You Have to File a Probate After Death in Florida?

A: There is no exact deadline to file probate after death in Florida. However, once a custodian of the will learns that the individual is deceased, they have up to 10 days to submit the will to the clerk of court. While there is no time limit to file a probate, it is still important to do so as quickly as possible to prevent other heirs or individuals in the will from filing or losing track of heirs in the will to give assets to.

Ensure a Complete Probate Process

The Law Office of Douglas A. Oberdorfer, P.A., has over 20 years of experience working with many different types of estates. An attorney can help resolve any conflicts that arise as a result of the will and make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible. For more information on how we can help with your probate case, schedule a consultation today.

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