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


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