Estate lawyers generally charge hourly fees, flat fees, or a percentage of the value of the estate, according to Nolo. Lawyers also bill clients for miscellaneous disbursements. Executors pay the fees out of estate assets before any heirs receive their inheritances.
Lawyers base their fees on the size of the firm, their experience and location, notes Nolo. Lawyers who charge by the hour tell prospective clients their hourly fees and keep records of time they spend on the probate work. Flat fees mean attorneys don't need to keep up with time they spend on the clients' work. Although percentage fees are customary in a few states, no laws require this type of fee.