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


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