Sacramento, CA asked in Estate Planning for California

Q: Probate Trust Attorney Fees in California

I am trustee for my deceased parents' trust. There are 9 benficiaries and been a lengthy process with petitions and objections filed, etc. The trust attorney is requesting I start paying his fees personally claiming it is to protect attorney-client privelege. I think it's because he fears the court will not approve fees that have exceeded statutory limits. I've said there's nothing to hide, so why not pay from available trust funds?

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2 Lawyer Answers

Scott Jordan

Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Ramon, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The attorney can only be paid if the judge approves the fee. The attorney will need to file a petition for fees. If the attorney is trying to get you to pay before hand, maybe s/he is not the best attorney for you.

Zaher Fallahi

Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The probate fees are statuary in California and must be approved by court. Attorney may be paid additional fees for extra-ordinary services she or he may provide; such as filing estate tax returns (form 706) and other legal services. I wouldn't pay the lawyer in advance. Good luck.

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