Legal Toolkit Michigan Probate, Estate and Elder Law

What to Expect About Probate, Estate and Elder Law


Attorneys who agree to represent individuals with Estate Planning issues will typically work on a fixed-fee basis for most services and/or they may bill clients on an hourly basis or use an asset-based fee determination.


Asset-based fees mean that the attorney is determines their legal fees based on the size of the assets they have to work to protect or to consider.


Attorneys charge for expenses incurred on behalf of clients. These expenses typically include copying charges, long-distance phone charges, postage, faxes, court filing fees, the cost of court reporters, expert witness fees, medical report fees, appraisal fees and other necessary valuation expenses, and other expenses associated with handling your case.


It is advisable to ask your attorney to put the fee arrangement in writing. This will help you and your attorney clarify what you will be charged for, when you are expected to pay your invoices, and what you should do if you have a concern about fees.


Court costs for filing a decedent’s estate in probate court in Michigan are generally estimated to date to be: $150 filing fee, $12 per Letter of Authority issued, $80.20 for publication fee in Macomb County.   The State Bar of Michigan issues an economic report which summaries what the median hourly rates are for attorneys, which is a good resource to cross reference when researching attorney billing rates.


After your death, if a probate attorney represents your estate in probate court, their fees are generally deducted from the estate proceeds.