Only attorneys are authorized to represent a personal representative in a decedent’s estate. RSMO 473.153 sets forth a fee schedule for the personal representative and the attorney.
The fees are based upon the size of the estate and the amount of work required. These fees are based upon a percentage of the value of the personal property administered and of the proceeds of all real estate sold under the probate court’s orders. The fee schedule is:
- 5% on the first $5,000 in the estate
- 4% on the next $20,000 in the estate
- 3% on the next $75,000 in the estate
- 2.75% on the next $300,000 in the estate
- 2.5% on the next $600,000 in the estate
- 2% on anything over $1,000,000 in the estate
Personal representatives can waive their claim to a fee. Frequently, family members appointed as personal representatives will waive their fees.
In smaller estates, the statutory minimum is not enough to compensate the lawyer for the work involved. Often, a higher percentage than provided by statute will be charged for small estates.
If you need help navigating through the probate process or avoiding probate entirely, Contact Us at the Law Offices of Stephen J. Hoffmann.