Attorneys Stand to Collect Two Million in Prince Estate - A Matter of Probate, or Excessive Attorney Fees?

Web Admin - Thursday, August 18, 2016

Just days after the announcement of Prince’s death, media coverage revealed that the pop icon had died without a will. It seems strangely out of character, given how obsessively he controlled everything else in his life – copyrights, creative oversight, and releases – but all too true. His estate, his alleged vault of unreleased music, and all that he had worked so hard to build over the course of his life would have to go to probate (a legal process is used to identify, value, and divvy up a person’s assets in the absence of a will).

Attorneys, who have been designated by the estate’s executor, are currently sorting through the estate, trying to determine the value of his assets and determine how they should be divided, and the fees are adding up. As of right now, they are slated to collect around two million dollars (and the cost is still rising). Are these fees justified – simply the cost of having to go to probate – or are they excessive? The following will examine this point and will provide tips on controlling attorney’s fees during the probate process.

Are the Fees Justified?

Without looking directly at the work that needs to be done on the Prince estate, it is difficult to say for certain whether or not the costs are justified. However, the idea of paying out two million for probate on any estate – even one as complex and vast as Prince’s – does seem a little excessive. Unfortunately, now that the attorneys have already done the work, controlling the fees may now be difficult. If the executor had done a little due diligence, things might have turned out differently.

Controlling Attorney’s Fees During Probate

Some states let attorneys charge a percentage fee on the amount of the estate. Illinois is not one of these states. This does not mean that fees do not spiral out of control here; it simply means that you will generally face one of two fee schedules for a probate case: a flat fee, or an hourly one. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, and you must understand them in order to avoid overcharging on your probate case.

Hourly fees can quickly get out of control, especially if they are following a commonly used minimum increments. For example, if your attorney spends two minutes on a phone call on behalf of the estate, they may charge you for six minutes (one-tenth of an hour). This makes it critical that you take the time to review the minutes you are charged for, and that you inquire about anything that does not make sense to you.

Flat fee attorneys do not charge hourly, so you do not have to worry as much about the “billable hours.” This can make for a more relaxed experience, but you might also be surprised to learn that certain elements are not covered in your fee. Make sure you understand what expenses are covered and which might be considered “extras” in your case (i.e. postage, filing fees, appraiser fees, etc.).

Regardless of which type of attorney you decide is most appropriate for your probate case, you should always request a fee agreement that outlines when and how you will be billed for services rendered. This agreement should cover:

- The type (hourly or flat) and the amount;
- An estimate of the overall cost for your case or number of hours );
- Who your contact will be with the law firm;
- How costs and expenses will be described in the billing process;
- How frequently you will be billed; and
- When payments will be due.

Our Attorneys Offer Affordable, Quality Legal Representation

At Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we understand how frustrating it can be to watch attorney’s fees rack up. That is why we offer skilled but affordable estate planning services to our clients in Arlington Heights, Long Grove, Barrington, and the surrounding areas. Dedicated to your interests, and to ensuring that your case is handled with the utmost level of care, we use creative and innovative solutions to improve the outcome of your case. Contact our Kenilworth estate planning attorneys today for more information.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.


Recent Posts


Barrington life insurance lawyer criminal caretaker rights Crystal Lake traffic attorney Des Plaines personal injury attorney car accident lawyers Illinois Trust Code advance healthcare directive Inverness elder law lawyer filing a medical malpractice claim expungement liability claims insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Illinois personal injury attorney Deer Park traffic lawyer clemency Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Colin H. Gilbert liability insurance claim denial Des Plaines surgical mistakes Barrington criminal lawyer fiduciary rule delay brain injury trench injuries Schaumburg estate planning lawyer South Barrington real estate attorney Illinois personal injury insurance agent negligence pedestrian accidents Rolling Meadows Attorney Crystal Lake employment law attorney personal injury accidents distracted driving accident victims real estate preventing accidents Illinois traffic ticket lawyer guardianship attorney life insurance lawyer LLCs life insurance claim denial, denial of life insurance claim Class A misdemeanor medical malpractice CAM estate tax landlord tenant law medical malpractice claims BAIID Illinois civil litigation lawyer School Visitation Rights Act medical malpractice compensation Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Colin Gilbert Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer medication errors denial of life insurance Fourth of July Arlington Heights trucking lawyer back injuries employees trucking accident lawyers Home Remodeling Repair Act appealing an insurance claim Inverness accident lawyer criminal record Illinois boating accident lawyer Palatine elder law attorney Illinois estate planning Palatine life insurance lawyer insurance denial appeals overtime violations car accident lawyer Illinois car accident attorney Schaumburg estate planning attorney Palatine construction attorney insurance dispute controlled substance Palatine workers compensation lawyer social media after death paid sick leave wills and trusts Illinois insurance dispute lawyers Chicago life insurance attorney Landlord Tenant Ordinance Buffalo Grove real estate attorney car accident gift taxes material misrepresentation murder charges Palatine employment attorney Crystal Lake tax lawyer Illinois bicycle safety Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers Attorney Ken Apicella car accidents Affordable Care Act marijuana crimes attorney Illinois small business DMV traffic laws Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer texting and driving FSLA personal injury claims workers comp lapse in policy Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney wills Transfer on Death Instrument healthcare claims digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers ken apicella employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, nursing home negligence Illinois injury lawyer Illinois LLC creation Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Buffalo Grove corporate attorney driving traffic violations defense Arlington Heights lawyer Chicago car accident lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyers Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer new real estate form natural gas explosion Illinois insurance lawyer speeding license reinstatement Arlington Heights insurance attorney power of attorney pay when paid contract no contest clauses hiring employees Riverwoods estate planning lawyer Barrington employment attorney Schaumburg traffic lawyer suspended license drug possession Schaumburg estate attorney drug crime drunk driving statistics Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Chicago attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys Illinois pedestrian accident attorney truck collisions residential real estate Deer Park workers compensation lawyer hit and run accident in terrorem provision Barrington litigation attorney auto accidents medical marijuana irrevocable trust Kenilworth estate planning attorneys Barrington attorney beneficiary complications slip and fall traffic offenses real estate leasing pet law Illinois home inspection subcontractor Des Plaines injury law firm rumble strips installment contracts Illinois speeding lawyer Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney Illinois red light cameras spinal cord injury Palatine injury attorney traffic tickets employee rights boating accidents employment contract privacy laws IRELA Des Plaines real estate attorney Illinois workers compensation lawyer Deer Park medical malpractice attorney home inspection lawyer Schaumburg real estate lawyer commercial leases Illinois workers compensation attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Barrington estate planning attorney attorney fees sexual harassment blood alcohol content drug crimes Retaliatory Discharge murder defense Palatine civil attorney modern family estate planning Inverness real estate lawyer Illinois insurance claim attorney Schaumburg employment attorney IRS Schaumburg civil litigation attorney Kenilworth estate planning lawyer fiduciary rule product liability pain and suffering Barrington employment law attorney Legal Info texting while driving Do Not Resuscitate Rolling Meadows tax attorney probate claims employment attorney estate planning lawyer trauma after an accident Chicago employment attorney field sobriety test Inverness insurance attorney insurance claim delay Arlington Heights car crash attorneys criminal defense income distribution deducation Rolling Meadows traffic law firm probate process capital gains tax motorcycle accident Illinois employee rights attorney. slip and fall accidents Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Illinois medical malpractice lawyers Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney work unions meal breaks head on collisions how to avoid common denials of life insurance claims Joliet general practice lawyers Illinois real estate Illinois Sales Representative Act Long Grove real estate attorney Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer DUI defense Schaumburg corporate attorney Barrington injury attorney Illinois traffic laws workers compensation benefits Deer Park accident attorney digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, Schaumburg Barrington employment law firm traffic accidents Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Des Plaines personal injury lawyers Barrington business law firm Inverness DUI lawyer Self-Directed IRA Accounts Buffalo Grove law firm uninsured motorist probate lawyer Crystal Lake car accident attorney Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer senior citizens Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission dog bites unpaid assessment Deer Park traffic accident attorney boating under the influence Des Plaines drug lawyer icy parking lots Barrington civil litigation attorney Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Buffalo Grove injury lawyer car crashes real estate zoning Rolling Meadows creditors PTSD digital information DNR workplace sexual harassment Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers rollover accidents Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Deer Park DUI lawyer Illinois insurance disputes real estate attorneys Illinois insurance claims lawyers Inverness civil lawyer Schaumburg injury lawyer loopholes Illinois pet lawyer Arlington Heights tax lawyer insurance negligence Illinois business lawyer foreclosure Long Grove estate planning personal injury attorney Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Illinois employment laws fatal car accidents POA Illinois corporate lawyer automated cars denied insurance claim Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys insufficient documentation Crystal Lake accident attorney independent contractor financial advisors FMLA Des Plaines civil attorney unpaid overtime Mount Prospect elder law attorney coronavirus Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers internet Illinois attorney car collision Illinois wills and trusts drug crimes lawyer criminal law IRA benefits Schaumburg drug defense lawyer Palatine law firm medical research Illinois criminal defense attorney Rolling Meadows criminal attorney probate fees Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents Barrington medical malpractice lawyers DUI attorney Palatine insurance lawyer child safety Whistleblower Claims medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers liens golf accidents Buffalo Grove probate lawyer breach of contract Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, real estate contract Illinois living will dram shop law minimum wage Employment Discrimination Law Rolling Meadows employment law attorney caregiver Illinois Probate Act of 1975 privacy Schaumburg probate attorney underinsured motorist Barrington workers compensation attorney Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer Illinois Smoke Detector Act elder law Thanksgiving operating agreements Illinois employment law attorneys estate planning pregnant women denial of insurance claim Schaumburg personal injury lawyers manufacturing living trust Illinois pet bites Barrington drug crime attorney insurance disputes institutional trustee Illinois job attorney Illinois business law atorneys trustee unauthorized overtime federal crimes Barrington criminal defense lawyer comparative negligence mortgage workers compensation Illinois traffic attorneys Inverness real estate attorney business litigation DUI penalities personal injury claim estate planning attorney Buffalo Grove life insurance attorney corporate law Illinois driving without license foreclosed rental property Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Schaumburg criminal attorney employment law, Illinois employment laws BUI DUI reckless homicide disability benefits Schaumburg wrongful death attorney involuntary manslaughter crossover accidents Illinois trusts attorney Illinois tax attorney Mount Prospect real estate lawyer Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer insurance attorney Buffalo Grove traffic attorney Illinois medical malpractice claim Des Plaines DUI attorney real estate lawyer landlord Crystal Lake pet attorney power of attorney for healthcare premises liability sole proprietorship Rolling Meadows business lawyer first degree murder Palatine punch death Chicago insurance claim attorneys Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney health insurance dispute top life insurance claim denials Illinois collections attorney Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer ObamaCare employee misclassification Arlington Heights accident attorney hands free device Rolling Meadows life insurance claim denial attorney deadly crashes insurance claim denials deed transfer Illinois trucking safety products liability unfunded trust pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Barrington personal injury attorney Arlington Heights traffic attorney drugs right to work Crystal Lake business law attorneys Illinois mortgages underfunded trust blended families fault based insurance vacation home fines forming a corporation in Illinois preventable medical errors Arlington Heights employment attorney drunk driving pizza emoji car crash jet ski accidents Arlington Heights TBI attorney Palatine trusts lawyer small business Palatine traffic accidents defective products lawyer traffic deaths trusts food poisoning Palatine business attorney Crystal Lake employment attorney Rolling Meadows traffic attorney job lawyers Illinois medical malpractice case cell phone Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer Chicago corporate attorney traumatic brain injury Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Chicago biking tips digital assets Palatine criminal defense lawyer GM ignition switches Chicago estate planning lawyer bike accident real estate closing Super Mario cell phone accidents Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument estate attorney traumatic brain injuries Des Plaines pet law attorney trust payments Des Plaines real estate lawyer contracts comp time Arlington Heights criminal lawyer investment property Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer Palatine probate lawyer estate planning for college students personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys Palatine corporate attorney Inverness traffic law firm defective products Barrington personal injury lawyer eluding a police officer Schaumburg personal injury lawyer consent to a search probate claims process cause-of-death exclusions Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Home Sale Contingencies Forcible Entry holiday statistics Illinois construction accident attorney license suspension Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer Chicago lawyer wage theft Illinois workplace lawyer Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Crystal Lake personal injury attorney Schaumburg life insurance attorney Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers Illinois Human Rights Act Illinois lawyer federal regulations for LLCs pedestrian-automobile accident IRA trust transfer spinal cord injuries Illinois wrongful termination lawyer motorcycle accident lawyer Illinois personal injury lawyer civil litigation attorney Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer Des Plaines claims law firm most common reasons for life insurance claim denials Barrington Traffic Lawyer bad faith insurance claims Illinois traffic accident lawyer rest breaks Illinois probate lawyer Long Grove real estate lawyer Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney Chicago will attorney boating DUI insurance claim dispute dynasty trusts insurance denials Rolling Meadows real estate attorney underage DUI Illinois estate planning attorney Rolling Meadows probate lawyer Schaumburg Attorney insurance agents Illinois medical malpractice attorney problem employees Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers commercial leasing mass shooting homestead rights bicycle dooring accidents Crystal Lake law firm distracted driving accidents Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer Illinois insurance attorney Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer Policy Cancellation Mt Prospect Attorney Schaumburg insurance lawyers owner responsibility taxes Palatine drug lawyer personal injury employment law employment lawyer Illinois employment lawyer civil litigation insurance claims anesthesia errors Palatine corporate law attorneys Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer agent life insurance claims Crystal Lake employment lawyer Family Medical Leave Act Illinois estate planning law firm Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer Deer Park real estate law firm llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association Arlington Heights Attorney Liquor Control Act Palatine personal injury lawyer overtime pay TBI Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Palatine traffic lawyer employee discrimination low-ball insurance settlement Buffalo Grove employment lawyer condo Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney Des Plaines criminal attorney accidental death benefits real estate attorney Palatine employment lawyer Schaumburg employment law attorneys car crash injuries Inverness injury lawyer college kids Detainer Actions Inverness personal injury attorney insurance dispute attorney Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act license Illinois law Arlington Heights injury attorney denied insurance claims probate jet ski traffic violations Des Plaines tax law firm Palatine employment law lawyer healthcare dealing with problem employees Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Chicago employment lawyer Schaumburg construction accident lawyer wrongful termination condo association Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer Inverness corporate attorney Crystal Lake insurance lawyer insurance claim Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney Kenilworth estate planning attorney loss of consortium Fair Labor Standards Act whistleblower protections employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys license revocation Illinois employment law Des Plaines collections attorney insurance claim dispute attorney civil rights violation life insurance policy wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Arlington Heights car accident lawyer Des Plaines accident attorney murder personal injury lawyer Illinois employment attorneys Rolling Meadows accident lawyer severance agreements personal injury law firm Rolling Meadows employment attorney pedestrian accident Illinois workplace discrimination attorney ACA Inverness probate lawyer Illinois employment law attorney construction contracts Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Deer Park personal injury lawyer Chicago trucking accident attorney trucking accidents bicycle accidents Illinois traffic attorney living trust benefits Illinois DUI attorney South Barrington real estate lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance attorney living wills gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys Palatine civil litigation lawyer natural gas Illinois will lawyer Schaumburg elder law lawyer Crystal Lake car accident lawyer cell phone tower data Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers Palatine Attorney changes to mortgage law construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Deer Park employment law attorney startup company Crystal Lake injury attorney Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer sexual images Schaumburg personal injury attorney Schaumburg criminal law attorney compensatory time Palatine estate planning lawyer breathalyzer test revenge porn Long Grove estate planning attorney insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, vacation home Des Plaines insurance attorney Illinois elder law attorney Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers Deer Park criminal attorney Barrington real estate lawyer DGAA Barrington estate planning lawyer marijuana estate planning trusts Jay Andrew living trust vs will Crystal Lake will lawyer commercial real estate BAC Schaumburg car accident attorney rollover car crashes Illinois registered agent Inverness estate planning lawyer Chicago traffic lawyer tax attorney insurance adjusters Long Grove estate planning attorneys Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Illinois defective products attorney rent to own real estate contracts Illinois real estate lawyer Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers life insurance construction accidents Illinois employment law firm Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer digital evidence Illinois rollover accident lawyers Chicago insurance law firm Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm swimming pools Illinois wills and trusts attorneys wrongful death Barrington boating accident attorney Chicago estate planning traffic crimes Illinois jet ski accident lawyer estate plan Exclusions special needs trust Palatine real estate lawyer elder abuse