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


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